Treasures in the Royal Library

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Hartmann Schedel: Liber chronicarum cum figuris (Book of Chronicles). Nürnberg: Anton Koberger, 12 July 1493.
Inc. Haun. 3633 2º

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Title page Fol. 41v-42r: The third age of the world
(i.a. a picture of Naples)
Fol. 43v-44r: The third age of the world (picture of Venice)

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Fol. 263v-264r: The seventh age of the world (about death)

The Book of Chronicles, published by the humanist and historiographer Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514), is an extensive and lavishly illustrated history of the world. History from the creation of the world till Schedel’s own time is reviewed, with a hint of a vision of the Day of Judgment. The cities shown above were supposedly founded in the “third age”, i.e. the age between Abraham and David in the Old Testament.
Because of its 1809 woodcuts, i.a. numerous prospects of cities, The Book of Chronicles – or the Nürnberg Chronicle as it is also called – is among the most famous and richly illustrated books of the 15th century, and it gained immense popularity in its own time. It was printed in a Latin as well as a German edition in 1493 by the Nürnberg printer Anton Koberger, and new editions followed in 1497 and 1500. The woodcuts are made by Albrecht Dürer’s teacher Michael Wohlgemuth and the latter’s stepson Wilhelm Pleydenwurff.
The Royal Library owns a grand total of seven of these early editions of which one – shown above – is coloured by hand. This copy has been in the possession of the Hamburg professor Michael Richey (1678-1761).

48 x 33 cm.

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