Elias Holwein

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Elias Holwein (* 1579 in Wolfenbüttel ; † 1659 in Stade , buried there on August 18 of the same year) was a German printer , form cutter for wood and copper engravings, as well as publisher and editor of the second oldest newspaper in the world, the Aviso Relation or newspaper . His - very rare - woodcuts from the first two decades of the 17th century mostly show portraits of members of the Duchy of Wolfenbüttel , 28 of which - almost all of Holwein's work from this time - belong to the Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum .


Alleged " printer's stamp " depicting Saint Michael as the conqueror;
Woodcut after Gottfried Müller , here dated 1625
Portrait of Johannes Krabbe ;
Engraving after Gottfried Müller , 1630

Elias Holwein was a member of the Holwein family . Holwein must have already been based in Wolfenbüttel at the beginning of the 17th century, because portraits and other woodcut images by Holwein's hand for the years 1602, 1603 and others are known. From 1603 he was known as a resident of his hometown Wolfenbüttel and lived in the local part "Löwenkule" or "Lauenkuhle". He married Anna N. and buried his own child on January 2, 1612. By 1613 at the latest, Holwein began working as a form cutter in Wolfenbüttel and only a few years later in 1616 acquired both the Horn'sche printing works of Konrad Horn , which had been owned by Julius Adolf von Söhne or his sons since 1603 , as well as the privilege and title of Princely Braunschweigischer Hof - printer . The printing company in Wolfenbüttel changed its name to 1632 under the name Elias Holweins, although in the meantime from 1626 in Celle a princely Offizin was founded, which operated in the years 1627 and 1628, among others, under the name "Elias Holwein and his heirs" and - temporarily may Run by a son of the same name or as a branch of Holwein - under the main management of the princely father until 1651.

1636: City view with a representation of the possible future city ​​fortifications of Hanover , in the foreground the Calenberger Neustadt, which was also still to be built at the time

While Holwein was still running the printing works in Celle, Duke Georg , who had chosen Hanover as his residence in the middle of the Thirty Years' War in 1636 , summoned him to Hanover that same year. Here Holwein, one of the first book printers in Hanover after Henning Rüdem , produced the Typus civitatis Hannoverae… Elias Holvvein Typographus , a woodcut of a cityscape, for the Duke's reception in 1636 . Arnold Nöldeke describes this view of the city as "[...] seen from the area of ​​the Ihmebrücke ", while the historian Alheidis von Rohr describes the location of the view as " viewed from the Lindener Berg ". In fact, the woodcut already shows some bastions of the city fortifications, which were still to be expanded in 1636, as well as in the foreground a gate with a group of houses and a church behind it, which the monument conservator Arnold Nöldeke used to illustrate his description of the city ​​fortifications of Hanover when taking stock of the city's monuments . This woodcut was - after the "quite arbitrary " older view of the city by Heinrich Bünting  - at the same time the first "halfway detailed view of the city", which had only become important enough for an elaborate illustration when Georg von Calenberg took residence.

In 1651 Elias Holwein founded in Stade , and here now as a royal Swedish book printer, the “first printing company in the duchies of Bremen and Verden ”. After his death in 1659, the widow Holwein continued the printing works there until her son Caspar came of age , until 1717, when it passed "through marriage into other hands".


  • Hans Heinrich Füssli : General Artist Lexicon, or: Brief message about the life and works of painters, sculptors, builders, copper engravers, art founders, steel cutters, etc. In addition to the attached lists of teachers and students, as well as the portraits of the artists contained in this dictionary ... , Part Two, 1806
  • Friedrich Culemann (ed.), Karl Ludwig Grotefend : History of the book printing works in the Hanoverian and Braunschweigische Landen , Hanover: Hahn'sche Hof-Buchhandlung, 1840, passim ; Preview over google books
  • August Sach: History of the city of Schleswig according to documented sources. With two plans and one view. Schleswig: Bergas, 1875, SS 218 (there note 2)
  • Eduard Steinacker : Brunswick advertisements , No. 166 from 1885
  • Karl Steinacker : Braunschweigisches Jahrbuch , 1906, pp. 63, 127
  • Bernhard Wirtgen: The Royal Swedish privileged book printing company in Stade. Elias Holwein and his successors from 1651 to 1848. In: Stader Jahrbuch , Volume 49 (1959), pp. 51-94
  • Bernhard Wirtgen: Three Hundred Years of Stade Printing. Edited by the Hansa-Druckerei R. Stelzer on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. Hansa-Druckerei Stelzer, Stade 1960
  • Ernst Kelchner:  Holwein, Elias . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 13, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1881, p. 20 f.
  • Braunschweigisches Biographisches Lexikon (2006), p. 357 f.
  • Klaus Niehr (ed.): Historical city views from Lower Saxony and Bremen. 1450–1850 (= publications of the Historical Commission for Lower Saxony and Bremen , Volume 268). Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen 2014, ISBN 978-3-8353-1534-1 and ISBN 3-8353-1534-X ; Table of contents and information from the publisher's report

Web links

Commons : Elias Holwein  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Dieter Lohmeier: Holwein, Johann . In: Biographical Lexicon for Schleswig-Holstein and Lübeck . Volume 13. Wachholtz Verlag, Neumünster 2011, p. 214.
  2. a b Compare the information from DNB: DNB 124876153
  3. a b c d e f g Holwein, Elias . In: Hans Vollmer (Hrsg.): General lexicon of fine artists from antiquity to the present . Founded by Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker . tape 17 : Heubel – Hubard . EA Seemann, Leipzig 1924, p. 413 .
  4. a b c d e f g Ernst Kelchner:  Holwein, Elias . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 13, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1881, p. 20 f.
  5. a b c Elias Holwein (Biographical details) on the British Museum website , accessed on 23 August 2015
  6. a b Christoph Reske: Elias Holwein (Hollwein) 1636–1639 . In: Ders .: The book printers of the 16th and 17th centuries in the German-speaking area. Based on the work of the same name by Josef Benzing (= Contributions to Books and Libraries , Volume 51). Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2007, ISBN 978-3-447-05450-8 and ISBN 3-447-05450-6 , p. 352 ff .; books.google.de via Google books
  7. ^ Klaus Mlynek : Residenzrezess (contract). In: Klaus Mlynek, Waldemar R. Röhrbein (eds.) U. a .: City Lexicon Hanover . From the beginning to the present. Schlütersche, Hannover 2009, ISBN 978-3-89993-662-9 , p. 521.
  8. ^ A b Arnold Nöldeke: Die Kunstdenkmale der Stadt Hannover , Part 1, Monuments of the "old" City Area Hannover , Volume 1, Issue 2, Part 1. Self-published by the provincial administration, Schulzes Buchhandlung, Hannover 1932, pp. 42–74; here: p. 45; (Reprinted by Wenner Verlag, Osnabrück 1979, ISBN 3-87898-151-1 )
  9. Simon Benne: Book presentation / Insights into historical Hanover ( memento from 23 August 2015 in the Internet Archive ) on the Oberhessische Presse website