"LXI - Massilia", Schedel, Hartmann
Subject: France, Marseilles
Period: 1493 (published)
Publication: Nuremberg Chronicle
Color: Hand Color
9 x 7.5 inches
22.9 x 19.1 cm
Hartmann Schedel's Nuremberg Chronicle (Liber Chronicarum) was published in two editions, Latin and German, both in 1493, appearing in print just before Christopher Columbus' discoveries completely re-shaped the European view of the World. This splendid work presented the history of the world in a pictorial encyclopedia with approximately 285 pages of text and 1,800 woodcut illustrations. Among these illustrations are views of towns and cities throughout Europe and the Near East. The majority of these views are entirely imaginary. In fact, 49 of the views are actually printed from the same group of 14 woodblocks. There are also 30 double-page views of cities with more realistic images. In addition to the topographical images, there are an enormous number of other subjects, including diagrams of the Creation, comets, family trees, portraits & biblical scenes. The text was compiled and edited by Hartmann Schedel, printed by Anton Koberger, with illustrations designed by Michael Wohlgemuth and Willem Pleydenwurff, who cut the woodblocks, probably with the assistance of their apprentice, Albrecht Durer.
This fine leaf features a view of Marseilles. Massilia is the Latin version of the original Greek name, Massalia, which was founded in circa 600 BC as part of Phocaean commercial ambitions to control the sea routes leading to the west. According to Strabo the site was selected because of its maritime advantages; the site overlooked a deep recessed harbor and had easy access to the Rhone River estuary. While this is one of the imaginary views from the Chronicle, it is the earliest available view of the city. There are several uncolored portraits on verso. On a folio sheet (19 x 13") with Latin text.
Later color on the view. Some brown ink notations and a few spots in margins.