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Cartographica Helvetica


Peter H. Meurer:

The illustrations of the Basel 1580 edition by Guicciardini

Cartographica Helvetica 4 (1991) 17–21


The Niderlands Beschreibung, a description of the Netherlands, was printed in 1580 by Sebastian Henricpetri of Basel. It is the German version of Lodovico Guicciardini's Descrittione di tutti i Paesi Bassi and was translated by Daniel Federmann.

Most of the maps and illustrations of towns were printed from older, already existing wood blocks, which had first been cut for Sebastian Münster's 1544 Cosmographia: 3 maps showing the course of the Rhine River, 5 regional maps of the Netherlands and all the fictive town illustrations.

12 out of the 14 nonfictive plans and views of towns in the Netherlands as well as the general map of that country were copied from the first edition of the Descrittione (Antwerp 1567) and subsequently cut for the 1574 Cosmographia. The same artist who designed and cut the 1574 general map also prepared the wood blocks for Sebastian Münster's 1588 Cosmographia edition.

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