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Merian, Matthäus

Ragusa & Negroponte


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  • Frankfurt
  • 1638
  • Print
  • 1638
  • Copper engraving
  • Croatia & Greece
  • 20.5 x 30,5 cm (8 x 12 inches).
  • 33511
  • Restoration at the center fold and some restored worm ducts at the lower edge of the sheet, outside of the representations. Otherwise in good condition. Strong impression.

Article description

Article description

Original copper engraving. Uncolored. Published in "Topographia Italiae". Two city views on one sheet. The upper view shows the Croatian city of Ragusa, today's Dubrovnik. In the lower view we see Negroponte, that is the medieval name of the Greek island of Evia, which is still used in Italy today. Matthäus Merian the Elder (born September 22, 1593 in Basel; † June 19, 1650 in Langenschwalbach) was a Swiss-German engraver and publisher from the elegant Merian family in Basel. He published numerous maps, cityscapes and chronicles. His main work is the Topographia Germaniae.Matthäus Merian was born as the son of Sägmüller and councilor Walther Merian. After attending grammar school, he learned drawing, engraving and etching from the Zurich copper engraver Friedrich Meyer. From 1610 to 1615 he studied and worked in Strasbourg (with Friedrich Brentel), Nancy and Paris (with Jacques Callot). His large Basel city map was created in Basel in 1615. After traveling through Augsburg, Stuttgart and the Netherlands, Merian came to Frankfurt am Main and Oppenheim in 1616, where he worked for the publisher and engraver Johann Theodor de Bry; de Bry owned an engraving shop in Oppenheim and a publishing house in Frankfurt, in which large travel books on the Far Eastern countries were prepared at that time. In 1617 Merian married Maria Magdalena de Bry, the daughter of his employer. During this time he also worked for the engraver and publisher Eberhard Kieser. In 1620 he moved back to his native Basel, where he acquired guild rights and started his own business. After the death of his father-in-law (1623) he continued his publishing house in Frankfurt and acquired Frankfurt citizenship in 1626. In 1627 he took Wenceslaus Hollar into his workshop as a student. After the death of his wife (1645), Merian married Johanna Sibylla Heim in 1646. From his first marriage come three daughters (Susanna Barbara, Margaretha and Maria Magdalena) and three sons: the two also work in his workshop, Matthäus Merian the Younger, Caspar Merian and Joachim. The daughter Maria Sibylla Merian, the natural scientist and artist, emerged from the second marriage. Matthäus Merian died after a long illness on June 19, 1650 in Langenschwalbach near Wiesbaden. He was buried in the Peterskirchhof in Frankfurt. After his death, his sons Matthäus and Caspar took over the publishing house and continued to publish his works under the name Merian Erben. (Wikipedia)

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