The printer of the Imperial Court of Vienna and Prince John Sigismund of Transylvania

The printer of the Imperial Court of Vienna and Prince John Sigismund of Transylvania

The printer of the Imperial Court of Vienna and Prince John Sigismund of Transylvania. The printing activities of the ill-fated Raphael Hoffhalter in Central Europe (1556–1568)
Written by Bánfi Szilvia
NSZL Budapest, 2023, 496 pages
ISBN 978 963 200 727 4

11 800,- Ft

Raphael Hoffhalter, printer, engraver and type cutter, was one of the most important and influential typographers in the city of Vienna from the second half of the 1550s until the early 1563s. However, a detailed account of his activities has not yet been published until now. This volume is intended to fill this gap, especially since without a thorough knowledge of his oeuvre in Vienna, it is not possible to understand the printer's later activities in Hungary. To this end, the author has carried out an exhaustive bibliographical survey of the works printed by Raphael Hoffhalter and reconstructed his printing equipment.

Raphael Hoffhalter's curious 16th-century Central European life is part of Polish cultural history because of his origins, and part of Austrian and Hungarian cultural history because of the sites of his activities. His fate was influenced by the denominationalism of the period, from which he could not detach himself as a printer. However, his work in Hungary had a significant impact on our book culture in the 16th and 17th centuries. Raphael Hoffhalter is regarded as one of the most influential typographers in the history of 16th century Hungarian printing.


Szilvia Bánfi worked at the National Széchényi Library between 1976 and 2021. In addition to her work in the library as a history and library specialist she soon became involved in the work of the research group on the history of printing founded by Gedeon Borsa. Her scientific activities include retrospective Hungarian national bibliography (16th-18th century), the history of printing in Hungary (1473-1948) and 20th century censorship research.

It was during the compilation of Gál Huszár's printing equipment that she turned her attention to Raphael Hoffhalter's printing activities in Hungary. Hoffhalter played an important role in the cultural history of Central Europe in the 16th century. His vicissitudes can be traced in the publications he printed between 1563 and 1568. The reconstruction of the printing equipment he produced them with is of indispensable importance for the history of printing in Vienna and in Hungary.

This impressive volume is the result of decades of meticulous research by Szilvia Bánfi.