Amman, Jost

Date: 1539-1591

Born in Zurich, not much is known about Jost (Jocodus) Amman’s early life and training; although evidence suggests he may have studied in Paris and Lyon and apprenticed in Basel or Zurich. By 1961, he had settled in Nuremberg, Germany and was training under Virgil Solis (a German printmaker). After Solis’ death, Amman took over his work on a Bible published by Sigmund Feyerabend in Frankfurt. This created a lifelong partnership between the publisher and Jost Amman, who would illustrated at least 50 books for Feyerabend alone.

Amman’s engravings included historic portraits; biblical scenes; heraldic designs; title pages; scenes of warfare, hunting, and pageantry; and scenes of tradespeople. By 1581, he was recognised as one of the most prolific and skilled book illustrators and engravers of the sixteenth century. After his death in 1591, his work continued to be copied and reused, becoming pattern books which influenced artists such as Peter Paul Rubens and Rembrandt van Rijn.

The University Art Collection holds one drawing by Jost Amman, entitled ‘Lucretia – Sketch of Reclining Woman’.