This broadsheet by the Catholic polemicist Johannes Cochlaeus (from his work Sieben Kopffe Martin Luthers [Seven Heads of Martin Luther ]) uses the direct language of the Reformers’ propaganda images. But here, their pictorial vocabulary is used to denigrate Luther and his followers, who were considered to be threats to the unity of the Empire and to the Church. Luther is represented as the seven-headed beast of the Apocalypse with bees buzzing around one of its heads.


  • Title: Seven-headed Martin Luther
  • Creator: Hans Brosamer
  • Date Created: c. 1529
  • Physical Dimensions: Image: 16.4 × 13.5 cm Sheet: 19.5 × 13.9 cm
  • Technique and Material: Woodcut
  • Provenance: Von Nagler Collection
  • Museum: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett
  • Inv.-No.: AM 335–1974
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-018511
  • External Link: http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/kupferstichkabinett/home.html
  • Copyright: Photo © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett/ Dietmar Katz; Text © cat. no. 36 / Michael Roth
  • Catalogue: https://prestelpublishing.randomhouse.de/book/Renaissance-and-Reformation/Stephanie-Buck/Prestel-com/e504919.rhd
  • Artist Dates: c. 1495 Fulda (?)–1554 Erfurt
  • Artist Biography: Brosamer is often identified with the Monogrammist HB, the author of portraits of the bourgeoisie of Nuremberg in the 1520s. The places of publication of his prints with his initials—Ingolstadt, Wittenberg, Magdeburg, Frankfurt am Main—indicate the radius of his activity, which around 1540 was probably centered in Fulda, as suggested by the inscriptions of some of his works.

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