The Book of Chronicles or Liber Chronicarum by Hartmann Schedel, also called Schedel's World History or Nuremberg Chronicle, starts with the creation of the world by God according to the Book of Genesis. The seven days of creation are depicted on four leaves in 8 circular woodcuts. All four leaves with the woodcuts on the front and the back side are offered here.
Sheet 1 recto: In Principio creavit Deus celum et terra / In the beginning God created heaven and earth.
Sheet 1 verso: De opere prime diei. - 1st day, light
Sheet 2 recto: De opere secunde diei. - 2nd day, firmament
Sheet 2 verso: De opere tereie diei. - 3rd day, land and sea, plants
Sheet 3 recto: De opere quarte diei. - 4th day, celestial body
Sheet 3 verso: De opere quinte diei. - 5th day, animals of the water and air
Sheet 4 recto: De opere sexte diei. - 6th day, land animals, humans
Sheet 4 verso: De sanctificatione septime diei. - 7th day, Sabbath
Susannah Helman in Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita To Australia about the last woodcut in the series:
Among its extraordinary woodcuts are two that capture early modern European thinking about the world and its place in the cosmos. The first is a conception of the earth and heavens as newly created by God.... Midway through the 'first age' of history is the woodcut depicting De sanctificatione septime diei (On the sanctification of the seventh day), the last and most spectacular in a series of seven. It shows God resting after creating the world in six days. This is a Christian-Aristotelian view of the cosmos: at the centre is the earth surrounded by the other three elements of water, air and fire. Beyond it are the seven planetary spheres (the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn), then the firmament (the dome of fixed stars), the crystalline heaven and Aristotle's primum mobile the revolving outermost sphere which moves the universe by imparting motion to the other spheres. God on his throne oversees the scene, surrounded by the angelic hierarchy, also listed at the left. The four winds grace the corners. The woodcut, then, combines ancient philosophy, a Christian perspective and the weather.
Michael Wolgemut and his stepson Wilhelm Pleydenwurff were woodblock cutters of the illustrations of Schedel's World Chronicle. Albrecht Dürer was an apprentice in Wohlgemut's workshop between 1486 and 1490, so the young Dürer was most likely involved in the woodcutting work, since some of his illustrations for his Apocalypse show a remarkable similarity.
|Title||In Principio creavit Deus celum et terra...|
|Publisher, Year||Anton Koberger, Nuremberg, 1493|
|Plate Size||22.4 x 22.0 cm (8.8 x 8.7 inches)|
|Sheet Size||41.0 x 29.0 cm (16.1 x 11.4 inches)|
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