Yesterday saw the publication of the first four volume of a lavish, projected five-volume monographic work on the great Danish Renaissance printmaker and draughtsman Melchior Lorck (c. 1526/27-after 1583), published by the Royal Library and high end publisher Vandkunsten.

Not only was Lorck a highly accomplished printmaker, he was also a wandering spirit and, crucially, spent four years at the court of Sultan Suleiman the Magnficent in Constantinople in 1555-1559. He spent these years recording the people and the topography of this metropolis with a both acutely observational and original eye, producing not only iconic images such as the searing portrait of Suleiman, above, but a large number of, for the time, astonishingly realistic views of the city and its people–including a huge 12-meter panorama, which is reproduced 1:1 in the fourth volume.

This monumental publication is the result of a lifetime of research on the part of Dr. Erik Fischer, the former keeper of Prints and Drawings at the State Museum in Copenhagen and the dean of Danish art history, ably assisted by Mikael Bøgh Rasmussen and Ernst Jonas Bencard. It has been a long time coming and is truly a great event in the publishing.

The Bunker hereby sends it warmest congratulations to Dr. Fischer and his assistants and recommends everyone interested to take a closer look at Lorck.



  1. If we were able to see a bigger version of the picture in the bottom a spicy detail would be unveiled: Under the roof to the left a couple is having sex! Kind of funny…

  2. that portrait of the sultan is extraordinary – particularly the rendering of the turban; incredibly sculptural. plenty for modern graphic artists to get their teeth into there.

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