Sebastian Münster; 1489-1552.
A true renaissance man, this German linguist and mathematician
(and Franciscan) may not have been as good a cartographer
as Gerard Mercator or Abraham Ortelius. But he is generally
credited for having been the first and foremost influence
in the spreading of geographical interest and knowledge throughout
His major publications must have been the most read books
of their time (beside religious texts). He expanded on, and
corrected, the work of Martin Waldseemüller, on the basis
of his massive correspondence with numerous German scholars.
Most of his maps were printed using the woodblock technique
of the day.
- Geographia in 1540-42-45-52, four editions all in Latin,
with 27 Ptolemaic maps and 13 (growing to 27 in the last issue)
- Cosmographia Universalis in 1544. In 6 volumes, it was also
published by his step son; Henrich Petri, who continued the
printing till 1588, well after Münster death of the plague.
Further editions in 9 volumes by Petri's son (Henri Sebastian)
till 1628 were rushed to print to compete against the more
successful Ortelius atlas, with Ortelius maps instead of Munster's!
All in all, 33 editions, 19 in German, 5 in Latin, 6 in French,
2 in Italian and 1 in Czech. orks.
Hispania/nach aller seiner gelegenheit/in Bergen.....
This large woodblock print (13 9/16" X 10") was prepared for
inclusion in volume II of the Cosmographia.
The present item, in second state, was printed for the 1578
German edition of said work.
Remarkably, most of the place manes are in vernacular, instead
of in Latin as it was customary at the time.
Remark the massive rework done on the matrix in the central
region, most probably to allow for the growing importance
of Madrid which replaced Toledo as the seat of the royal house
Center engraving with German text on verso.