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THE FIGURINE OF GUTENBERG
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The book is a universal value. H. Toumanian is one of the bearers of that value. He was a great author and an avid reader. It is symbolic that in his collection there is a bronze figurine of the inventor of print – Gutenberg.
Johannes Gutenberg is a German blacksmith, jeweler and inventor. He graduated from Erfurt (Germany) University.
He lived in Strasbourg, France for a long period of time. In the 1440s he created a machine with movable type (letter). This invention of Gutenberg is considered to be one of the most important inventions of humanity. It established the foundation of modern printing. After this invention Strasbourg was considered to be the capital of printing for 200 years, which had deeply contributed to the development of the city.
The invention of print created an opportunity for Gutenberg to realize his dream. In 1452-1454 he published the first printed Bible in Latin. It is also famous as the “42 Line Bible”.
There are statues commemorating the great inventor in his birthplace Mainz, in the Austrian capital Vienna, and elsewhere.
In 1840 on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of print a bronze statue of Gutenberg was erected in Strasbourg France, with the support of grateful citizens. The author of this magnificent monument is a prominent French sculptor David d’Anger. The interesting fact is that the image of Gutenberg is created by the imagination of the sculptor (there is no information about the external look of the inventor). The statue is placed on the Gutenberg square, which was called the square of Green market before (Place du Marche՛-aux-Herbes).
The figurine of the private collection of Toumanian is a small duplicate of the statue created by d'Anger. It was made with dark bronze. The pedestal of the figurine is the rectangular pedestal, Gutenberg standing on it, with its beard and middle length hair. He wears a long cloak with fur collars, a round pointed hat on his head, also edged with fur. His right arm spits from the cut of the saliva of the dress, the lower part of the saliva is fastened with three round clasps. His left foot is forward, there is a long toe shoe on his foot with a sharp nose and clasp. In his hands he holds the first page of the Bible he published. There is a French writing engraved on it: "Et la lumie՛re fut - Let there be light ...".
On the left side there is a printing press, with a flat rod mounted horizontally in the center, and a round-headed screw passes through the rod along the machine. A round clamp-like part is placed near the machine.
The figurine and all other details are attached to the pedestal with 11 screws.
The height of the statue is 39 cm; the width of the pedestal is 17 cm, the length is 19 cm.
There are no markings on the statue, so it is not possible to determine when and by whom it was made. Presumably, the author is the same David d'Anger, 1840, Strasbourg.
On December 22, 1971 Hovhannes Toumanian’s family donated the figurine to the museum – act N147. Together with a rich and diverse collection of books the figurine is exhibited in the hall of the poet’s personal library in Yerevan Museum.