Mountains and cities, but also mythical creatures and ancient heroes: a fascinating cartographic balancing act between new knowledge and a biblical-mythological worldview

Heinrich Bünting's Maps

Germany — 16th century

Heinrich Bünting's Maps

Heinrich Bünting's Maps

Germany — 16th century

  1. Heinrich Bünting (1545–1606) portrayed Europe in the form of the Virgin as Queen while Asia had the form of the Pegasus

  2. Mountains, cities, bodies of water, animals, fantastical creatures, and splendid sailing ships fill the work

  3. Bünting manages the balancing act between new knowledge and a biblically characterized worldview

Mapas de Heinrich Bünting

Heinrich Bünting's Maps

The Eastern Mediterranean

The important cities of the Middle East from the Holy Land to the eastern borders of Persia are shown here as part of the chest and torso of a winged Pegasus, which opens its mouth to take a bite of Europe as though it were an apple. Despite its mythical and symbolic nature, the map is remarkably accurate and includes the islands of Crete, Rhodes, and Cyprus, shows the Nile Delta in Egypt, and distinguishes the regions of Russia and Muscovy from one another in Europe.

Heinrich Bünting's Maps

Alternative Titles:
  • Mapas de Heinrich Bünting
  • Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae
  • Karten von Heinrich Bünting
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

With his famous Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae, the Hanoverian theologian and chronicler Heinrich Bünting composed a true bestseller at the end of the 16th century. The maps and descriptions, in which biblical stories are geographically located, were widely disseminated and translated into numerous languages. With his maps, Bünting managed to link the cartography of his time with emblematic illustrations and, for example, depicted Europa in the form of the Virgin with the insignias of the Queen or Asia as a Pegasus. Wonderfully colored in parts, the compendium of 17 sheets offers the opportunity to immerse oneself in the biblical stories and their corresponding geographical location, and in doing so to directly experience the piety of the 16th century and at the same time the drive for new insights during this time.

Heinrich Bünting's Maps

With his famous Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae, the Hanoverian theologian and chronicler Heinrich Bünting composed a true bestseller at the end of the 16th century. The maps and descriptions, in which biblical stories are geographically located, were widely disseminated and translated into numerous languages. With his maps, Bünting managed to link the cartography of his time with emblematic illustrations and, for example, depicted Europa in the form of the Virgin with the insignias of the Queen or Asia as a Pegasus. Wonderfully colored in parts, the compendium of 17 sheets offers the opportunity to immerse oneself in the biblical stories and their corresponding geographical location, and in doing so to directly experience the piety of the 16th century and at the same time the drive for new insights during this time.

The Old World and the New

The “Old World” of the 16th centuries consisted of three continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa. America, the “New World,” was already discovered and was even cartographically depicted. With Heinrich Bünting, however, the worldview of the Bible was center stage. A page of his Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae clearly shows this view: which groups the three established continents around Jerusalem in the middle like three sheets of a cloverleaf – an allusion to the heraldic device of Bunting’s home city of Hannover. Below and to the left is a truncated depiction of “America and the New World”. Bunting’s work, this “complete collection of the knowledge at that time concerning biblical geography” manages the balancing act between new knowledge and the biblically characterized worldview, and is thereby a wonderful expression of the 16th century Zeitgeist: the piety that simultaneously ruled the great discoveries and upheavals of this time.

Europe as a Queen and the Square City

Heinrich Bünting’s map series is titled as a travel book for the entirety of the Holy Scriptures. It contains maps of the three continents, of the Mediterranean and its surrounding regions, of individual countries such as Egypt or Judea and Samaria, or of Jerusalem the Holy “Squared” City. Bünting portrayed Europe in the form of the Virgin as Queen with the insignia of power: the Imperial Crown, Scepter, and Orb; Asia, the “second continent,” had the form of the Pegasus, the winged horse from Greek mythology. Alongside these emblematic depictions, the cartographer also shows maps with realistic images of the continents and individual regions, such as the description of the Holy Land and a neighboring text with the description of where Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, had lived. Each map is accompanied by a clarifying text – sometimes on the back – that connects the biblical story with the geography.

An Entertaining Treat for the Eyes

With his compendium, Heinrich Bünting (1545–1606), who was simultaneously a theologian, geographer, and chronicler presented a work of art and information, which met the Zeitgeist of the late 16th century. The theologian, who was active in the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, created a printed work that still offers the opportunity to immerse oneself in this exciting theme and simultaneously enjoy the great artistry with which it was made. The maps contain, alongside detailed designations for coasts, mountains, cities, bodies of water and seas, wonderfully entertaining illustrations. Thus there are countless marine animals, fantastical creatures, and splendid sailing ships.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Mapas de Heinrich Bünting
Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae
Karten von Heinrich Bünting
Origin
Germany
Date
16th century
Illustrations
17 maps
Artist / School
Mapas de Heinrich Bünting

Heinrich Bünting's Maps

EVROPA PRIMA PARS TERRÆ IN FORMA VIRGINIS

The visual personification of the European continent as a young woman known as Europa Regina originated in the early–16th century, when Holy Roman Emperor Charles V came closer to uniting Europe than anyone since Charlemagne. Titled here "Europe in the shape of a maiden", it is a west-oriented map with Spain as the crowned head, indicating its preeminent status.

France and Germany make up the body, with Bohemia depicted as the heart because it was a Humanist haven of religious tolerance at the time. Italy’s ongoing importance is represented by the right arm, with Sicily’s key position in European politics highlighted by the orb. The left arm with the scepter reflects the rising status of Scandinavia and the British Isles.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Heinrich Bünting's Maps“

Mapas de Heinrich Bünting
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
Heinrich Bünting's Maps – Private Collection
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Mapas de Heinrich Bünting

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Siloé, arte y bibliofilia – Burgos, 2010
Limited Edition
898 copies
Binding
Presented in a slipcase
Commentary
1 volume
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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