1598 Münster View of Lisbon, Portugal

Olisiponis oder Lisbonae der Fuernemmen und wegendes gewaltigen Kauffmanns Gewerb so allda getreiben weitbekandten Statt in Spanien wahre abcontrafactur. - Main View

1598 Münster View of Lisbon, Portugal


The second earliest acquirable printed view of Lisbon.


Olisiponis oder Lisbonae der Fuernemmen und wegendes gewaltigen Kauffmanns Gewerb so allda getreiben weitbekandten Statt in Spanien wahre abcontrafactur.
  1598 (undated)     11 x 14 in (27.94 x 35.56 cm)


This is an attractive 1598 S. Münster woodcut view of the Portuguese city of Lisbon, one of the earliest acquirable. It displays the famous city, emphasizing the busy wharves of this essential port, and many ships coming and going. This is an example of the earliest Münster edition of this view, which is nevertheless among the last views added to Münster's work. It was printed in the 1598 German edition of Cosmographia, consequently it is one of the scarcest views from this work, having only appeared in its last three editions of 1598, 1614 and 1628.
Adding to the Cosmographia
Münster himself constantly labored to build the work until his death by plague in 1552, both adding to the text as well as ordering the production of improved city views. Sebastian Petri, the heir to Münster's printer Henrich, added many new maps and views in 1588 to bring it up to date. But this block, as well as that of London, would not appear in Cosmographia until this 1598 edition.
Uncharacteristically Late
A disproportionate number of maps and views appeared in Münster's opus before any other publication, many of which relied on firsthand report. In this case, the view is a painstaking copy of the 1572 view engraved in copper for Braun and Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum. It is puzzling that so important a city would be so long in coming. After all, it was one of the Iberian Peninsula's greatest ports. It was one of the largest cities in Europe during the sixteenth century. It was the starting-off point for many of the explorations upon which many of Münster's maps depended. It may be that it was neglected in Münster's lifetime due to his Germano-centric, humanist network: indeed, until this view appeared in Cosmographia there were no Iberian cities in any edition. The views and maps added after Münster's death were generally copied from the more modern works coming from Antwerp (Ortelius, mainly) and Cologne (Braun and Hogenberg), both of whom may have had superior access at this late date.
Publication History and Census
This map was cut by an unknown formschneider for inclusion the 1598 edition of Cosmographey: das ist, Beschreibung Aller Länder.... This example of the map corresponds to the 1598 printing, which was the last to employ Roman numerals in pagination. The 1614 and 1628 were pages 113 and 134, respectively, in Arabic numerals. The book is well represented in institutional collections, but this separate view appears only in three examples of the 1628 edition.


Sebastian Münster (January 20, 1488 - May 26, 1552), was a German cartographer, cosmographer, Hebrew scholar and humanist. He was born at Ingelheim near Mainz, the son of Andreas Munster. He completed his studies at the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen in 1518, after which he was appointed to the University of Basel in 1527. As Professor of Hebrew, he edited the Hebrew Bible, accompanied by a Latin translation. In 1540 he published a Latin edition of Ptolemy's Geographia, which presented the ancient cartographer's 2nd century geographical data supplemented systematically with maps of the modern world. This was followed by what can be considered his principal work, the Cosmographia. First issued in 1544, this was the earliest German description of the modern world. It would become the go-to book for any literate layperson who wished to know about anywhere that was further than a day's journey from home. In preparation for his work on Cosmographia, Münster reached out to humanists around Europe and especially within the Holy Roman Empire, enlisting colleagues to provide him with up-to-date maps and views of their countries and cities, with the result that the book contains a disproportionate number of maps providing the first modern depictions of the areas they depict. Münster, as a religious man, was not producing a travel guide. Just as his work in ancient languages was intended to provide his students with as direct a connection as possible to scriptural revelation, his object in producing Cosmographia was to provide the reader with a description of all of creation: a further means of gaining revelation. The book, unsurprisingly, proved popular and was reissued in numerous editions and languages including Latin, French, Italian, and Czech. The last German edition was published in 1628, long after Münster's death of the plague in 1552. Cosmographia was one of the most successful and popular books of the 16th century, passing through 24 editions between 1544 and 1628. This success was due in part to its fascinating woodcuts (some by Hans Holbein the Younger, Urs Graf, Hans Rudolph Manuel Deutsch, and David Kandel). Münster's work was highly influential in reviving classical geography in 16th century Europe, and providing the intellectual foundations for the production of later compilations of cartographic work, such as Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Münster's output includes a small format 1536 map of Europe; the 1532 Grynaeus map of the world is also attributed to him. His non-geographical output includes Dictionarium trilingue in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and his 1537 Hebrew Gospel of Matthew. Most of Munster's work was published by his stepson, Heinrich Petri (Henricus Petrus), and his son Sebastian Henric Petri. More by this mapmaker...

Heinrich Petri (1508 - 1579) and his son Sebastian Henric Petri (1545 – 1627) were printers based in Basel, Switzerland. Heinrich was the son of the printer Adam Petri and Anna Selber. After Adam died in 1527, Anna married the humanist and geographer Sebastian Münster - one of Adam's collaborators. Sebastian contracted his stepson, Henricus Petri (Petrus), to print editions of his wildly popular Cosmographia. Later Petri, brought his son, Sebastian Henric Petri, into the family business. Their firm was known as the Officina Henricpetrina. In addition to the Cosmographia, they also published a number of other seminal works including the 1566 second edition of Nicolaus Copernicus's De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium and Georg Joachim Rheticus's Narratio. Learn More...


Munster, Sebastian, Cosmographey: das ist, Beschreibung Aller Länder, Herrschafften vnd fürnemesten Stetten des gantzen Erdbodens, sampt ihren Gelegenheiten, Eygenschafften, Religion, Gebräuchen, Geschichten vnd Handtierungen, [et]c., (Basel: Petri) 1598.    


Good. Marginal repairs not impacting printed image. Evenly toned.


OCLC 494453126.