Nuremberg Chronicle view of Damietta


Hartmann Schedel.  “Damiata.”  Nuremberg, Nuremberg Chronicle, [1493].  15 x 10 1/4 (full sheet).  Woodcut.   Overall fine condition.  Latin text and on verso.  From an edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle.

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Hartmann Schedel’s Weltchronik,, usually referred to as the Nuremberg Chronicle, was printed by Anton Koberger in Latin and German editions beginning in 1493.  Two artists, Michel Wolgemut and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff provided illustrations which were reproduced by many anonymous wood block cutters.  The first edition of the book contained 645 woodcuts, and over time, subsequent editions had as many as 1,809.  These illustrations of places were more representational than accurate, but among the earliest of their kind.

Damietta was a city and port in Egypt that had strategic and commercial importance during the Middle Ages.  It was wrested from the Egyptians by various Crusader forces and later was completely destroyed by the Egyptians.  Here is an example of how any woodblock of a city would serve as a representation of Schedel’s narrative.