An attractive and historically interesting 15th century woodcut view of an English city (probably London) which was produced by Martin Wohlgemut for the Liber Chronicarum (Nuremburg: Hartmann Schedel, 1493). As well as being a fine example from the work, this is the earliest known printed view of an English city. The Latin text below describes the history and geography of Britain (a translation is provided on purchase). On the reverse side of the page there are various woodcuts depicting Biblical characters including King David, King Soloman and the Queen of Sheba.
The Liber Chronicarnum or ‘Nuremburg Chronicle’.
The invention of movable type printing in the 1450s was undoubtedly one of the major cultural milestones in the history of Europe. Formally written by hand and mainly the reserve of monasteries, books now became readily available to private individuals. These printed books also covered a wider range of subjects including Greek and Latin classics, histories, dictionaries and textbooks of every kind as opposed to being only religious in focus. It has been estimated that by the end of the century nearly 10 million books (or Incunabula) had been printed in Europe.
In the early history of printing and publishing, the City of Nuremburg played a considerable role. A major commericial and cultural hub, it was here that the ‘Liber Chronicarum’ (or ‘Nuremburg Chronicle’ )was printed by Anton Koberger and published by Hartmann Schedel in July 1493. Considered one of the great incunabula of the 15th century, it was a finely illustrated historical and topographical work containing a total of 1,809 woodcuts including the first printed view of an English town. These fine woodcuts were made by Martin Wohlgemut (1434-1519) and his son-in-law, Wilhelm Pleydenwurff. Wohlgemut was the tutor between 1486 and 1490 of the later renowned Albrecht Durer. It’s possible that Durer, as Wohlgemut’s apprentice, may have worked on some of the woodcuts which appeared in the chronicle.
The Nuremburg Chronicle, as well as being a great work, is greatly valued by historians as it was produced at the time the medieval world was coming to an end and a new modern age was beginning.Just seven months before its publication, Columbus had landed in what would soon to be known as the New World, and in so doing, radically alter the course of European history.
- This is an original 15th century woodcut.
- Printed area is approximately 22.4cms by 37.3cms (including text).
- The woodcut is in very good condition with decent margins. There is a minor stain in the top right margin. Click on image for a better view.
- Click on ‘Delivery Policy’ for postage costs.
- Guaranteed to be over 500 years old.