From the Archives: Concerning the Drawings of the Early History of Anabaptism in Zurich and on Hutterian Missionaries in Switzerland
Since in Switzerland no original drawings or paintings picturing any of the early Anabaptists or what they experienced have been known up to now, the presentation of the colored drawings in this issue deserves a short comment. The manuscript codex in which the drawings have been found has been preserved in the Central Library of Zürich and bears the signature Ms B 316. It contains the reformation history written by the Zürich theologian and church leader Heinrich Bullinger (1504–1575), completed 1567. It is, however, not the original manuscript by Bullinger himself, but a copy produced by the goldsmith Heinrich Thomanns, member of the city council of Zürich, in 1605/06.
The drawings illustrating the text of the reformation history, therefore, are not the pictures of an eye-witness. No individual similarities can be expected. But the scenery of the events, the Main Church (Grossmünster) or the place of the execution by drowning in the Limmat river or the “Witches Tower” where Anabaptists were held in prison and escaped, is pictured on the ground of experiences that were similar to those the Anabaptists had eighty years earlier.
The pictures of the Hutterite missionaries are from another source, i.e. the collection “Wickiana” in the same library. This collection was gathered by Johann Jacob Wick during the years 1560–1587 and contains the most divers news, letters, pamphlets, reports, illustrations, etc. It is a treasure of obscure source materials and has served as such quite often already. The last two books dealing with this collection were written by Matthias Senn in 1974 and 1975. Especially the last one contains quite a number of pictures including the reports illustrated.
The colored drawings on the Hutterite missionaries ...