Volltext: A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art

and Art. 
At the end of the century Murner had become a mailer of arts in the 
Univeriity of Paris, and had entered the Francifcan order. His reputa- 
tion as a German popular poet was fo great, that the emperor Maxi- 
milian I., who died in 1519, conferred upon him the crown of poetry, or, 
in other words, made him poet-laureat. He took the degree of doetor 
in theology in I509. Still Murner was known beit as the popular writer, 
and he publifhed feveral fatirical poems, which were remarkable for the 
bold woodcuts that illufirated them, for engraving on wood ilourifhed at 
this period. He expofed the corruptions of all clafies of fociety, and, 
before the Reformation broke out, he did not even fpare the corruptions 
of the eccleiiaiiical Hate, but foon declared himfelf a fierce opponent of 
the Reformers. When the Lutheran revolt againit the Papacy became 
Iirong, our king, Henry VIII., who took a decided part againfi Luther, 
invited Murner to England, and on his return to his own country, the 
fatiric Francifcan became more bitter againft the Reformation than ever. 
He advocated the caufe of the Engliih monarch in a pamphlet, now very 
rare, in which he difcuifed the quetlion whether Henry VIII. or Luther 
was the liar-" Antwort dem Murner uif feine frag, ob der kiinig von 
Engllant ein Liigner fey oder Martinus Luther." Murner appears to 
have divided the people of his age into rogues and fools, or perhaps he 
confidered the two titles as identical. His "Narrenbefchwerung," or 
Confpiracy of Fools, in which Brandt's idea was followed up, is fuppofed 
to have been publiihed as early as I506, but the Brit printed edition with 
a date, appeared in 1512. It became fo popular, that it went through 
feveral editions during fubfequent years; and that which I have before 
me was printed at Strafburg in T518. It is, like Brandt's "Ship of 
Fools," a general fatire againit fociety, in which the clergy are not 
fpared, for the writer had not yet come in face of Luther's Reformation. 
The cuts are fuperior to thofe of Brandt's book, and fome of them are 
remarkable for their delign and execution. In one of the earliefr of them, 
copied in the cut No. I39, Folly is introduced in the garb of a huIband- 
man, fcattering his feed over the earth, the refult of which is a very 
quick and Houriihing crop, the fool's heads rifing above ground, almoit 
inltantaneouily, like fo many turnips. In a fubfequent engraving, repre- 


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