Second oldest printed map of Europe
Date of first edition: 1493
Date of this map: 1493
Dimensions (not including margins): 39,5 x 58 cm
Dimensions (including margins): 46 x 61,5 cm
Condition: Very good. Wood engraving on strong paper with wide margins. Left and right bottom corners previously professionally restored.
Condition rating: A
Verso: Latin text
From: Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493
Schedel: map from an incunable
The Chronicles of Nuremberg contain two large regional maps: a world map and a map of Europe, or at least Europe north of the Pyrenees and Alps, ranging from the British Isles to Constantinopel.
It is the second printed map of the North, after the woodcut map published in the ‘Ulm’ Ptolemy edition of 1482/1486. With Latin text colophon on verso. The map is also deemed to be the first printed map of Germany, even if it shows a larger area, including all of Poland, Lithuania etc.
W. B. Grinsberg characterized this map as the first modern map of northern and central Europe. The map ranges from the British Isles to Constantinople. The designer has been identified as Hieronymus Münzer (1437-1508), who trained as a physician. The Münzer map is one of the earliest to depict the Scandinavia peninsula.
Nordenskold credits the map of the north in the Zamoyski codes as the prototype for this map. The source for the central European portion is a manuscript map of 1460 of Germany by Cardinal Nicolas Cusanus (also Nicholas of Cusa), printed posthumously at Eichstätt in 1491.
The woodblock cutter was Michael Wolgemut, the well-known teacher of Albrecht Dürer. Wohlgemut was Albrecht Dürer’s tutor between 1486-90. Since the young Dürer was active in Wohlgemut’s printers shop during the time the woodblock for the Nuremberg Chronicle was produced, he may also have collaborated, since some of the cuts bear a remarkably close resemblance to his Apocalypse illustrations.
For the first time “Finland” is mentioned on a map, though, because of the erroneous form of Scandinavia, not located in the right place.
The Low countries are represented the cities of Antorf (Antwerp), Prug (Bruges), Leodini (Liège) and Traiectum (Utrecht). Also Flandria, Brabancia, Holand and Gelria have been mentioned.
The main source for this map is a manuscript map of German Cardinal Nicolas of Cusa from around 1460, which was printed posthumously in 1491. Its designer may have been Hieronymus Munzer (1437-1508).