(1582) 1601-

In the first half of the 17th century there were two protestant pritning shops active in the Western part of Hungary. One was the typography founded by Ferenc Batthyány supplying readers of Calvinist confession with books, the other was the pritning shop of Johannes Manilus and continued by Imre Farkas working for Lutherans.
Johannes Manlius was working under the protection of the commander Ferenc Nádasdy in his estates Sárvár and (Sopron) Keresztúr (Deutschkreutz, A), from 1598. His press issued - until his death in 1605 - above twenty pritnings, all displaying his technical knowledge. In the last years of his activity there was some increase in his printing equipment. He acquired certain pieces of initials used formerly by the Telegdi (Chapter) press in Nagyszombat (Trnava, SK), originating from Vienna, from the Singriener office, respectively from the Jesuit press. However, the circumstances of this acquisition are not cleared as yet.

Ferenc Nádasdy, II (15701604)
Ferenc Nádasdy, II

After the death of Johannes Manlius (1605) the printing shop was suspended for some years, possibly because of the uncleared proprietorship. There is no data about the eventual relationship between Manlius and Imre Farkas. It cannot be stated either, whether Farkas had been working formerly with Manlius for some time.
Farkas was printing with the ornaments and other equipments of the Manlius press. His name first appears in 1608 in a book published in Keresztúr. His press stayed here until 1620, when he moved to another estate of the Nádasdy family, to Csepreg. However, his first printing from Csepreg was issued only as late as 1625.

The crest of the family Nádasdy
The crest of the family Nádasdy

It was during the activity of Imre Farkas in (Sopron) Keresztúr, that a major change occurred in the equipment: the old, rather worn printing types were substituted by new type faces. There was an unknown letter-caster working on the estate of Pál Nádasdy, who not only protected the printer but also financed the development of the printing shop. It should be noted, that right after the stay of the letter-caster in Keresztúr, he was also invited to the nearby Németújvár (Güssing, A) and commissioned to cast new letters for the press of the Transdanubian Calvinists founded by Ferenc Batthyány.

In the first half of the 17th century Csepreg was, besides Kőszeg and Sopron, one of the most significant settlements of the West-Hungarian region. The number of its inhabitants, confessionally mostly protestants, made it one of the largest market-spots in Hungary. It was at the synod of Csepreg (June 1591) that the two WesternHungarian protestant churches definitely divided into Calvinist and Lutheran chruches. There were great losses in the town when in 1621 the troops of the Esterházys ransacked it, because the town took the side of Gábor Bethlen the Transylvanian Prince. Perhaps that is the cause why the press could not work for some years. Its activity spans over almost twenty years and issued 37 printings to our present knowledge.

The St. Nicholas church in Csepreg: this church, built in  the 14th century was often attended by the Nádasdy family Ferenc Nádasdy (1623-1671) patron of the press
The St. Nicholas church in Csepreg: this church, built in the 14th century was often attended by the Nádasdy family
Ferenc Nádasdy (1623-1671) patron of the press

Similarly to his predecessor Johannes Manlius, who issued the first book in Hungary with copperplate illustration (1588), Imre Farkas has also two books with copperplate illustrations. These are the books by Kristóf Lackner, the humanist emblemist, mayor of the town of Sopron. He was also the artist of the two copperplates decorating his books: both representing emblematic crests.

The majority of the products of Farkas's press were dedicated to his patrons, to the members of the Nádasdy family, among others to Ferenc Náadasdy, later executed for high treason (1671). After printing in 1643 on his own cost a Lutheran work by Mihály Zvonarics and István Letenyei (RMNy 1991), his press abruptly ceased. The reason is, that the Lutheran Ferenc Nádasdy, the patron of the press converted to Catholicism. From that time on the Transdanubian Lutherans had no press at their disposal.

The characteristic
The characteristic "L" initial of the Vienna Singriener-office used in the 17th century by the Transdanubian Lutheran press



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Régi magyarországi nyomtatványok (RMNy) - Res litteraria Hungariae vetus operum impressorum, 2: 1601-1635, ed. by Borsa Gedeon and Hervay Ferenc. Budapest 1983.
V. ECSEDY Judit: A régi magyarországi nyomdák betűi és díszei XVII. század. 1. köt. Nyugat- Dunántúli evangélikus nyomda (1582)-(1601-1643). Bp. 2010. 45-49., 102-106, 255-276.
KOVÁCS József László: Farkas Imre sopronkeresztúri és csepregi nyomdája (1608-1643). = MKsz 1973: 359-364.
ZSIGMONDY Árpádné: Johannes Manlius és nyomdakészlete (1575-1605). In. OSzK Évkönyve 1982-1983. 297-410.
BÁNFI Szilvia: A bécsi Singriener-nyomda (1510-1562) könyvdíszeinek utóélete a magyarországi nyomtató műhelyekben. = MKsz 2010: 33.