"Folio XXII [Abraham / Memphis, Egpyt]", Schedel, Hartmann
Period: 1493 (published)
Publication: Nuremberg Chronicle
Color: Hand Color
11.3 x 16.1 inches
28.7 x 40.9 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 great sheet includes a full length portrait of Abraham and an imaginary view of Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt, that appears neither Egyptian nor "eastern." On verso is an illustration of Abraham about to sacrifice his son, Isaac. The illustration depicts two separate scenes in one. At right is Abraham carrying a pot of fire and the sacrificial sword, while hurrying his son, who shoulders the wood for the offering. At left Abraham raises his sword to sacrifice Isaac, who is kneeling on a dais with his arms outstretched. The angel of the Lord appears above the scene, halting the sacrifice. On a full sheet of Latin text.
One tiny tear in the text at bottom and marginal soiling.