Pirckheimer Bookplate

Albrecht Dürer.
[Bookplate for Wilibald Pirckheimer].
Woodcut. Nuremberg, c. 1502. (06961)

Dürer’s closest friend, Wilibald Pirckheimer (1470–1530), was Nuremberg’s leading humanist scholar. He introduced the artist to Classical literature and encouraged him to absorb the lessons of ancient art and that of his Italian contemporaries. As a favor to Pirckheimer, Dürer designed the armorial bookplate that the scholar pasted into his books, including this copy of a popular Confessionale: defecerunt scrutantes scrutinio (06961) by St. Antoninus of Florence, printed in Cologne, c. 1472. The motto in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin at the top of the print is from Psalm 111: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” The Latin phrase in the middle (“Sibi et amicis P.”) translates “for P[irckheimer] and his friends.” The Latin at the bottom of the print establishes that this book is Pirckheimer’s property.