Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Strange People and Map of the World (Secunda etas mundi/mappamundi): Folio XII (verso) and XXIII (recto)

Published by Albrecht Dürer’s godfather, Anton Koberger, while the young artist was an apprentice in Wolgemut’s shop, this book represents a history of the world as it was known in the late fifteenth century. An early encyclopedia, it covers topics ranging from geography to religion. Issued in a run of 2, 500 copies—in both German and Latin editions—its circulation was said to have been second only to that of the Bible. It included 645 woodcuts. The chronicle is divided into the seven significant biblical periods of time from the creation to the Last Judgement.

This image is based on a Ptolemaic map published in 1482, which depicted the Indian Ocean as a sea, a land bridge joining Asia and Africa, a distorted shape, and the recently discovered Gulf of Guinea. The grotesque depictions of foreigners were drawn from classical sources and accounts by medieval travelers. The map is held by the three sons of Noah and is surrounded by heads representing the twelve winds. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art’s collection includes numerous other sheets from the Nuremberg Chronicle (Eskenazi Museum of Art 63.155.1–.7, 63.156, 65.61, and 65.62)

Workshops of Michael Wolgemut
German, 1434/1437–1519
and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff
German, ca. 1460–ca. 1494
Strange People and Map of the World (Secunda etas mundi/mappamundi): Folio XII (verso) and XXIII (recto) from The Second Age from the Deluge to the Birth of Abraham in the Nuremberg Chronicle (Liber chronicarum), 1st Latin edition
Woodcut with moveable type on paper
Sheet: 17 ¾ x 12 3/8 in. (45.1 x 31.4 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Ernst Anspach, 63.155.4B–.5A