Sebastian Münster – Sion, Switzerland – 16th Century Woodblock from Cosmographia

Beautiful 16th Century woodblock engraving of Sion (Sitten), Switzerland from Sebastian Münster’s famous work Cosmographia, the first German description of the world.

Mapmaker: Sebastian Münster

Date of Publication: 1544

Sebastian Münster, (January  20, 1488 –  May 26, 1552) wrote and illustrated the first German description of the world in his work Cosmographia published in 1544 and richly illustrated with detailed woodblock prints, some of which were drawn by the great artists of the period including Hans Holbein the Younger and Urs Graf.

Born in Ingelheim, the son of farmers he entered the Franciscan order and studied at the University of Tübingen in 1518.  He later became a Lutheran.  An professor of Hebrew, he was the first German to produce an edition of the Hebrew Bible. 

His other works include Mappa Europae (1536). In a Rabbinical translation of the Gospel of Matthew in Hebrew,  a Latin edition of Ptolemy’s Geographia with illustrations, Novae lnsulae XXVI Nova Tabula (1552) and Rudimenta Mathematica (1551)

He died in Basel of the plague in 1552. 

a note on the reverse added by a previous owner.