Map. Woodblock engraving with hand coloring. Image measures 11" x 13.5".
This bird's-eye view of Basel shows the city as it is structured around the Rhine River. A key in the lower left lists prominent locations according to letters scattered on the map. The generalized style of many of the buildings allow finer architectural detail in churches, fountains, and city walls to stand out. A few outsized figures and animals can be seen throughout, working in the fields and rowing down the quickly flowing Rhine. The map is from the 1550 edition of Sebastian Munster's "Cosmographia," a text that, when first published in 1544, was the earliest German description of the world. It quickly became one of the most successful books of the 16th century and was published in 24 editions. On the back is an elaborate title for "Die Statt Basell" and descriptive text with some small pictures. Basel, in fact, was Munster's home city as of 1529, when he moved there to work as a Professor of Hebrew at Basel University. This history makes this map of Basel of particular historical significance beyond its appealing aesthetics. The map is in excellent condition with no tears and wide margins as issued. Fine impression. Small chip to lower left corner not affecting the image. Sebastian Munster (1488--1552) was a German cartographer, cosmographer, and Hebrew scholar famed for participating in the revival of geographic thought in 16th-century Europe. Hans Rudolf Manuel (1525-1571) was a painter, designer and poet whose topographical views of cities for "Cosmographia" were greatly acclaimed. This map is a fine edition of this piece of history.