Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Calligraphic Trompe-l'œil Calendar

Matthias Buchinger (German, Ansbach 1674–1739)
Pen and red, brown, and black ink, brush and grey wash
sheet: 5 5/8 x 4 1/16 in. (14.3 x 10.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Jean A. Bonna Gift, 2007
Accession Number:
Not on view
Part of a group of calendars that Buchinger produced early in his career, this spectacular example seeks to trick the eye with its curling pieces of vellum attached to a wall with wax seals and pushpins. The calendar marks each day of December with the celebration of a Christian saint; accents of red ink recall the practice of rubrication, in which medieval scribes would emphasize letters in manuscripts using ink of a similar color. Buchinger is known through his signed pieces to have visited Augsburg, Nuremberg, Zurich, and, because of this drawing, Winterthur in 1709. Along with the Johann Michael Püchler portrait of Martin Luther seen nearby, it was found in a friendship album amassed in the early eighteenth century by Hans Wilpert Zoller in Zurich.
Inscription: In pen black and red ink within the image in calligraphy: Ich Matthias Buchinger Ohne häande u: Fuße Geboren habe Dießes Stucke Calendar Geschriben in Winterthur (17 in superscript) - 1709
Hans Wilpert Zoller (Swiss, Zurich 1673–1757 Zurich); Wilhelm von Muralt- von Planta (1845–1937); Hans Rohr Buchhandlung und Antiquariat zum Oberdorf, Zurich; Auktionshaus Stuker, Bern, November 28, 2006, no. 9060; Vendor: Galerie Arnoldi-Livie (Munich)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Wordplay: Matthias Buchinger’s Drawings from the Collection of Ricky Jay," January 8, 2016–April 11, 2016.

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