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Apian's Key Sheet of Bavaria by Old Master Engraver Balthasar Jenichen

Joost Amman's finely executed key sheet, prepared as a guide for Philipp Apian's monumental 1568 24-sheet map of "the Principality of Upper and Lower Bavaria."

Philipp Apian's magnificent map of Bavaria, entitled Chorographia Bavariae: Beschreibung Des Lanndts Vnd Loblichen Fürstenthumbs Obern Vnd Nidern Baiirn,  is a testament to the rich cartographic heritage of the sixteenth century.  Created in the middle of the 16th century, the map provides an intricate portrayal of Upper and Lower Bavaria, two prominent administrative districts in what is now modern-day Germany. The title, translated as "Description of the Country and Praiseworthy Principality of Upper and Lower Bavaria," signals the scope of this ambitious work.

Apian's map of Bavaria is considered to be a pioneering monument of modern cartography. In 1554, Duke Albrecht of Bavaria ordered Philip Apian (son of the famous mathematician and cosmographer Peter Apian) to create a map of Bavaria for the Bairische Chronik of Johannes Aventinus written 1526 to 1533. For the next 7 years, Apian travelled through Oberbayern and Niederbayern, Oberpfalz, Archbishopric Salzburg and Bishopric Eichstätt, conducting survey of the landscape based on methods of trigonometry and triangulation, creating the first map of an entire country by this method. He then spent the next two years creating his masterwork, a 5 x 5 meter sized map in scale 1:45.000, which was later colored by Bartel Refinger.

Philip Apian (1531-1589) was successor to his father Peter as the professor of mathematics at Ingolstadt University and the first cartographer to produce a complete map of Bavaria. The map remained in the same Library, until it was destroyed by a fire in 1782.

In 1566, using Apian's "large map", Apian had Jost Amman make woodcuts on a smaller scale of 1:144,000. These so-called Bairische Landtafeln, divided into 24 woodcuts, were published by Apian in his own printing shop in Ingolstadt. A key sheet was also engrave by Balthasar Jenichen (the present map).


We locate only the example in the King's Topographical Collection at the British Library.

Balthasar Jenichen Biography

Very little is known of Balthasar Jenichen. He was a German goldsmith, engraver, and publisher who worked in Nuremberg between ca. 1560 and 1599, when he likely died. He started work in Virgil Solis' shop. When Solis died in 1562, Jenichen married his widow and continued the business. A document dating to 1621 mentions that Jenichen's widow sold a number of copper tablets (plates) to Senator Paul Behaim.