Finely colored example of Merian's decorative view of Rome.
Merian's panoramic view of Rome, based on the eastward oriented model established in 1593 by Antonio Tempesta, illustrates the city at the peak of the Italian Renaissance. This map follows shortly after Pope Sixtus the Fifth's ambitious civic redesign of Rome, pre-dating the renovations of the city which occurred during the Baroque Period.
The axonometric projection employed by Merian utilizes provides a striking image of many buildings which would be rebuilt over the next century. One of the most popular 17th Century views of Rome.
Mathaus Merian (1593-1650) was the father of engraver Matthäus the Younger, and of the painter, engraver, and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian. He was born in Basel, Switzerland and trained in engraving in Zurich. After a time in Nancy, Paris and Strasbourg, he settled in Frankfurt. While there, he worked for Johann Theodor de Bry, the publisher and son of the travel writer. In 1617, he married Maria Magdalena de Bry, Johann Theodor’s daughter. In 1623, Merian took over the de Bry publishing house upon the death of his father-in-law. Merian’s best known works are detailed town views which, due to their accuracy and artistry, form a valuable record of European urban life in the first half of the sixteenth century