Krieg der Mäuse gegn die Katzen [Battle of Mice and Cats], 1500, from Flugblatter der Reformation und des Bauernfrieges
Leipzig: Insel-Verlag Anton Kippenberg
Johann Gutenberg’s ‘invention’ of the printing press in Mainz, Germany, in the 1450s, enabled the dissemination of thoughts, ideas, and writings to a much greater audience. Leaflets or broadsheets (flugblatt), like early xylographic block books, were another way to disseminate ideas cheaply. This colourful ‘Battle of Mice and Cats’ by the unknown German Master was printed in 1500. It depicts mice (the common folk) planning to storm the castle of the cats (the ruling class); anti-feudal sentiment was a popular one in the 1470s onwards. The text at top right reads: ‘When you have dog, cat and mice in the same house like an old man and a young wife they rarely can live without arguments.’
[Unknown], “Krieg der Mäuse gegn die Katzen [Battle of Mice and Cats], 1500, from Flugblatter der Reformation und des Bauernfrieges,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed January 21, 2019, http://otago.ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/10415.
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