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Description

Interesting example of Michael Wolgemut-Wilhelm Pleydenwurff's "The Heavenly Chorus" woodcut scene from Schedel's  Liber Chronicum (Nuremberg Chronicle), one of the most famous and prolific works of the 15th century.  A group of angels, with a dove at the top, encircle the letters "YLE", after the Greek word "hyle". The text above describes "YLE" as the "first shapeless mass out of which all things were created." "Hyle", from the Greek word for "wood", was used by Aristotle to denote matter in general, defining it in Metaphysics as, " that which in itself is neither a particular thing nor of a certain quantity nor assigned to any other of the categories by which being is determined;" there had been no word in Greek for the concept of matter.

On the verso, the image simply and abstractly depicts the separation of light from darkness on the first day of creation; the first line of the text states, "And God said let there be light. And there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness"

Condition Description
Printer's crease in left of image (folium II). Some marginal soiling and foxing. Binding tab on left margin (folium II).
Reference
First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin, 2010.
Aristotle, and W. D. Ross. Aristotle's Metaphysics, Book VII. Oxford [England]: Clarendon Press, 1981.
Hartmann Schedel Biography

Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514) was a physician, book collector, and writer whose most famous work, the Liber Chronicarum (Nuremberg Chronicle), included some of the first printed views of many cities in Europe and across the world.

Schedel was born and died in Nuremberg, but he also traveled for his education. From 1456 to 1463 he lived in Leipzig, where he attended the University of Leipzig and earned his MA. From there he went to Padua, where he earned a Doctor of Medicine in 1466. After university, he worked for a time in Nördlingen and then returned to Nuremberg. In 1482 he was elected a member of the Great Council of Nuremberg.

The Chronicle was published in 1493. Besides this major work, one of Schedel’s most enduring legacies is his magnificent manuscript and printed book collection, one of the largest of the fifteenth century. In 1552, Schedel's grandson, Melchior Schedel, sold about 370 manuscripts and 600 printed works from Hartmann Schedel's library to Johann Jakob Fugger. Fugger later sold his library to Duke Albert V of Bavaria in 1571. This library is now mostly preserved in the Bayerische Staasbibliothek in Munich.

Among the surviving portions of Schedel's library are the records for the publication of the Chronicle, including Schedel's contract with Anton Koberger for the publication of the work and the financing of the work by Sebald Schreyer and Sebastian Kammermeister, as well as the contracts with Wohlgemut and Pleydenwurff for the original artworks and engravings. The collection also includes original manuscript copies of the work in Latin and German.