Striking pair of bird's-eye views of Candia and Corphu, from Merian's Neuwe Archontologica Cosmica ..., published in 1638.
The image shows two fortified harbor towns, castles, topographical details, and ships in the harbors. The upper image, of Heraklion, situates the capital of the Greek island of Crete against a mountainous backdrop. The lower image, of Corfu, in far northwestern Greece, shows the Palaio Frourio Kerkyras connected to the mainland by a single small bridge.
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