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  • Place of origin:

    Augsburg (Printed)

  • Date:

    ca.1700 (Printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Schmidt, Albrecht (Printmaker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Handcoloured woodcut on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Herbert Hinkins Collection

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This hand-coloured woodcut by Albert Schmidt, a German publisher of popular prints and playing cards, was printed in about 1700 in Augsburg, Germany, and coloured later by hand with watercolour. It represents sixteen lively figures from the biblical story of The Legend of the Prodigal Son, and even four boars and their feeding trough. It is one of a series of six prints relating to this story, leading us to believe that prints like this from biblical stories were the basis for an early form of German Toy Theatre.

From the way the characters are portrayed and set out on the sheet it appears that it was meant to be cut up and used in performance in conjunction with a text. It is unlikely that the images on this sheet were meant for one static three-dimensional image like a 'Nativity', but rather for performance.

Physical description

Woodcut-printed sheet, coloured by hand, showing sixteen characters in the biblical story of The Legend of the Prodigal Son, with two large boars, two small boars and a feeding trough. The lower edge of the sheet has been cut or trimmed so that only a fraction of the printed title remains.

Place of Origin

Augsburg (Printed)


ca.1700 (Printed)


Schmidt, Albrecht (Printmaker)

Materials and Techniques

Handcoloured woodcut on paper


Height: 30.5 cm, Width: 38.7 cm

Descriptive line

Hand-coloured sheet of characters from the biblical story The Legend of the Prodigal Son, probably used for a paper theatre version of the story. German, Augsburg, ca.1700, printed by Albrecht Schmidt (about 1667-1744).

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Papier Theater Issue no.26; December 2003.
Röhler, Walter. Das Europäische Kindertheatrer, Mörstadt, 1958

Production Note

Place and author attributed in the printed heading: 'Augsburg, von Albrecht Schmidt'.


Printing ink; Watercolour; Paper

Subjects depicted

Boar; Trough


Entertainment & Leisure; Prints


Theatre and Performance Collection

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