Details from a chronology of the papacy from Martin Luther's Works (Jena, 1564-70)

When Martin Luther pasted his Ninety-five theses onto the door of the church in Wittenberg Castle in 1517, he initiated the Protestant Reformation. The impact of his writings was amplified by the fact that many were printed, and therefore reached a much broader readership, particularly when translated into German. The edition of his works pictured here dates to 18 years after his death, and shows some of the inventive ways in which this new medium was already being used. The illustrations show Luther’s chronology of the papacy, with the names of those incumbents he liked least printed upside down accompanied by vitriolic assessments of their careers.

Bequest of Richard Duffield.