Rare 18th-Century Engraving After Merian's View of Jerusalem
A striking view of Jerusalem from the east, with a key locating 24 points of interest. The map shows Jerusalem with both classical and contemporary features. The view is centered on the Temple of Solomon, and Jerusalem is attractively laid out around it, with mountains in the background and a river through the foreground. This copperplate was engraved after the 1638 Merian view.
The map is clearly based on biblical accounts of the city, with the Temple of Solomon, the Palace of David, and Pilate's residence all shown. Despite this, the minarets of the city are adorned with crescents, indicating that the image is based in the present.
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