Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493,  Hartman Schedel, Wilhelm Pleydenwurff and Michael Wolgemut,  Wood block print on paper, Collection of Jack Shear 

The Nuremberg Chronicle is also referred to as the Liber Chronicarum (Book of Chronicles) or the Die Schedelsche Weltchronic (Schedel’s World History). The text is a universal history of the Christian world from the beginning of Biblical time until the 1490s. It is both a biblical paraphrase (a literary work in which the goal is not the exact replication of the Bible but a rendering that retells certain sections in accord with a particular theological argument) and a history of cities in both Europe and the Middle East. It was written in Latin by the physician and humanist Hartman Schedel and contains over 640 lavish woodblock print illustrations by the Nuremberg artists Michael Wolgemut and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff. The author and artists who created this incunable (a term for the earlist printed books, usually from the 15th century) weave stories from both sacred and profane time in order to create a cohesive flow of history. The moment featured here shows God creating the world.

Rachel Seligman



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