Johann Christoph Laidig and his illustrations to Goldener Himmelsschlüssel by Martin of Cochem
Source document: Opuscula historiae artium. 2016, vol. 65, iss. 2, pp. 76-89
ISSN1211-7390 (print)2336-4467 (online)
License: Not specified license
This study presents an iconographic analysis of the chalcographies in Goldener Himmelsschlüssel, a prayer book by Capuchin theologian Martin of Cochem (1634–1712). This book needs to be understood in the light of religious practices and observances established after the Council of Trent and the baroque doctrine of purgatory. The study begins by introducing readers to the book's author, Martin of Cochem, and to the engraver from Brno, Johann Christoph Laidig (†1704), who created the prints that illustrate the Brno edition of Goldener Himmelsschlüssel from 1701. The study examines the iconography and composition of the prints, the texts of the prayers, and how they relate to the prints, and compares the illustrations in the three editions of this book that were published. It demonstrates the direct relationship between the text and the accompanying images and the instructional nature of these illustrations, and it examines the purpose and practical utility of Cochem's widely known prayer book. One section of the study traces the changes in the iconography of the prints in the Goldener Himmelsschlüssel. The German and Brno editions from 1696 and 1701 differ significantly from the earlier Augsburg-Dillingen edition from 1690 in terms of the iconography of the illustrations. The section comparing the three editions does not just present a list of the different iconographic motifs but offers an explanation for these iconographic changes, which may have been initiated by the Dillingen Jesuits.