Striking two-sheet view of Istanbul, published by Matheus Merian, in Frankfurt circa 1650.
A superbly-detailed prospect of Constantinople from Galata, which was, according to the title, taken from life in 1635. It depicts both sides of the Golden Horn in great detail, with the important buildings identified by a 29-point key below.
Providing a remarkable depiction of the Ottoman capital at the height of its power.
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