Schedel's Woodcut View of Jerusalem
"Destruccio Iherosolime", Schedel, Hartmann
Subject: Jerusalem, Holy Land
Period: 1493 (published)
Publication: Nuremberg Chronicle
Color: Hand Color
21.6 x 10.2 inches
54.9 x 25.9 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 double-page woodcut illustration of the city of Jerusalem is one of the more detailed views in the Nuremberg Chronicle. It is an imaginary view of the destruction of Jerusalem, with towers toppled and the Temple of Solomon engulfed in flames. It is actually a synopsis of six separate holocausts described in the text. Major points in the city are identified with text notations. Of special interest, in the upper left of the image, are the figures of Jesus and Satan shown on top of Mount of Satan. On a full sheet of German text measuring 23.5 x 16.6". On verso are woodcut illustrations of the capture of Zedekiah, part of the lineage of Christ, and portraits of priests and profits.
References: Laor #1125.
A nice impression with light soiling and professional repairs to separations along the centerfold, a few minor tears along the edges of the sheet, and to a chip at bottom that extends into the image with a short tear, with a minor amount of the image skillfully replaced in facsimile.