Dutch cartographers dominated the seventeenth century and French and British cartographers the eighteenth century. German mapmakers were economically hampered by the fact that Germany was split into separate kingdoms and principalities, each with its own tax and customs system.
Nevertheless German mapmakers gained International reputation due to a high technical level in printmaking. German map publishing was centered in Cologne, Nuremberg and Augsburg.
First Publication: November 2001
Latest Update: 2014
Hartmann Schedel was born in Nuremberg as the son of a rich merchant. He was active as a scholar of jurisprudence and later medicine at different universities. Schedel became famous as the author of the Weltchronik.
It was published in Latin and in German in 1493 and in 1497. This chronicle contained more than 2000 woodcuts made by Michael Wolgemuth and William Pleydenwurff. It is assumed that their apprentice Albrecht Durer was also involved in the creation of these woodcuts. Albrecht Durer should become one of the best known German painters and printmakers.
Sebastian Munster was born in Ingelheim in Germany and died in Basel/Switzerland. Munster was a mathematician, Hebrew scholar and cartographer. In 1540 he published Ptolemy's Geographica and in 1544 the Cosmographia with more than 500 woodcut pages.
The Cosmographia was published in 46 editions - in German between 1544 and 1628, in Latin between 1550 and 1559, in Italian in 1558 and in French in 1575.
Sebastian Munster became Professor of Hebrew at Heidelberg University and later at the University of Basel in Switzerland. Munster died of the plague in 1552.
Frans Hogenberg, an engraver, worked and died in Cologne/Germany. He was a prolific copper engraver and etching artist of maps and town views. In cooperation with Georg Braun, a publisher, he created the first four volumes of the Civitates Orbis Terrarum in 1572. The fifth and sixth volume was created by Simon van den Neuwel (Novellanus).
Georg Braun was a theologist and the editor of the Civitates Orbis Terrarum, a collection of town views from all over the world. It was issued in six volumes between 1572 and 1617. The Civitates Orbis Terrarum were obviously meant as a companion to the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum of Abraham Ortelius. The layout and the size are similar to the work of Ortelius.
Johann Bussemaker worked in Cologne as an engraver and publisher. In 1594 and in 1608 he published an atlas created by the cartographer Matthias Quad.
Matthias Quad was a cartographer from Cologne. He had created two works, Europae tolius orbis terrarum, published in 1592 and Geographisch Handtbuch, a small folio published in 1600. His publisher was Johann Bussemaker.
Johann Baptist Homann was born in Nuremberg in Southern Germany where he spent his whole life. In 1702 Johann Baptist Homann founded a map publishing company. In 1715 he was appointed as imperial geographer by Emperor Charles VI.
Homann undercut the prices of the Dutch and French mapmakers and became the dominant map publisher in Germany in the eighteenth century. Homann's company was continued by his heirs under the name Homann's Erben (Homann's Heirs).
Matthias Seutter was born in Augsburg in Southern Germany. He began as an engraving apprentice for Johann Baptist Homann. In 1707 he started his own cartographic printing company in Augsburg.
Matthias Seutter produced maps, globes (starting in 1710) and atlases (starting in 1728). He became the official imperial geographer of Charles VI. After his death, the business was continued by his son Albrecht Karl (1722-1762) and his son-in-laws, Conrad Tobias Lotter and G.B.Probst.
Around 1757/58 Lotter became the sole owner of the company. He removed the name of Seutter from the original plates and replaced it by his own.
Author: Dieter Wanczura