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Networked Nation

Mapping German Cities in Sebastian Münster’s 'Cosmographia'

Series:

Jasper Cornelis van Putten

In Networked Nation: Mapping German Cities in Sebastian Münster’s 'Cosmographia', Jasper van Putten examines the groundbreaking woodcut city views in the German humanist Sebastian Münster’s Cosmographia. This description of the world, published in Basel from 1544 to 1628, glorified the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and engendered the city book genre. Van Putten argues that Münster’s network of city view makers and contributors—from German princes and artists to Swiss woodcutters, draftsmen, and printers—expressed their local and national cultural identities in the views. The Cosmographia, and the city books it inspired, offer insights into the development of German and Swiss identity from 1550 to Switzerland’s independence from the empire in 1648.

Erudite Eyes

Friendship, Art and Erudition in the Network of Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598)

Series:

Tine Luk Meganck

Erudite Eyes explores the network of the Antwerp cartographer Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598), a veritable trading zone of art and erudition. Populated by such luminaries as Pieter Bruegel, Joris Hoefnagel, Justus Lipsius and Benedictus Arias Montanus, among others, this vibrant antiquarian culture yielded new knowledge about local antiquities and distant civilizations, and offered a framework for articulating art and artistic practice. These fruitful exchanges, undertaken in a spirit of friendship and collaboration, are all the more astonishing when seen against the backdrop of the ongoing wars. Based on a close reading of early modern letters, alba amicorum, printed books, manuscripts and artworks, this book situates Netherlandish art and culture between Bruegel and Rubens in a European perspective.

Early Dutch Maritime Cartography

The North Holland School of Cartography (c. 1580-c. 1620)

Series:

Günter Schilder

Winner of the 2019 Menno Hertzberger Prize for Book History and Bibliography

This book is an exposition of an important, yet previously unknown chapter in the history of Dutch maritime cartography. While Amsterdam was developing into Europe’s most vital commercial hub in the seventeenth century, demanding and controlling the production of maps and sea-charts, a major School of Cartography was already flourishing in the so-called ‘Kop van Noord-Holland’ region just north of Amsterdam. This School specialised in the production of small-scale charts of larger areas, including the European coastlines and the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Its masters used to call themselves ‘caert-schrijvers’ or ‘map-scribes’ when clarifying their profession. The cities of Enkhuizen and Edam were important trading ports and as such provided an ideal environment for developing into centres of cartography, serving sea-borne navigation.
Apart from the well-known printed pilot guides by Lucas Jansz Waghenaer, the output of these ‘caert-schrijvers’ consists mainly of manuscript charts on vellum. Copies, though few they are, nowadays can be found across the globe. Sea-charts provided invaluable on-board navigation assistance to ship captains. However, another surprising contemporaneous purpose for financing these charts become popular. Rich ship owners and merchants would commission new charts to serve as wall-decoration as well as a reference point for their maritime-related conversations. They feature a decorative lay-out filled with magnificent colours. Moreover, many of these charts are embellished with miniature paintings, certainly making them some of the most beautiful exemplars ever produced by Dutch cartography during its Golden Age.

Chet Van Duzer and Ilya Dines

Chet Van Duzer and Ilya Dines

Chet Van Duzer and Ilya Dines

Chet Van Duzer and Ilya Dines

Chet Van Duzer and Ilya Dines

Apocalyptic Cartography

Thematic Maps and the End of the World in a Fifteenth-Century Manuscript

Chet Van Duzer and Ilya Dines

In Apocalyptic Cartography: Thematic Maps and the End of the World in a Fifteenth-Century Manuscript, Chet Van Duzer and Ilya Dines analyse Huntington Library HM 83, an unstudied manuscript produced in Lübeck, Germany. The manuscript contains a rich collection of world maps produced by an anonymous but strikingly original cartographer. These include one of the earliest programs of thematic maps, and a remarkable series of maps that illustrate the transformations that the world was supposed to undergo during the Apocalypse. The authors supply detailed discussion of the maps and transcriptions and translations of the Latin texts that explain the maps. Copies of the maps in a fifteenth-century manuscript in Wolfenbüttel prove that this unusual work did circulate.

A brief article about this book on the website of National Geographic can be found here.