World Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel

World Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel – Edition Libri Illustri – Inc. 122 – Zentralbibliothek der Deutschen Klassik (Weimar, German)

Nuremberg (Germany) — 1493

With 1,800 colored woodcuts and 29 perspective cityscapes: the famous Nuremberg World Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel, magnificently illustrated by Michael Wolgemut

  1. Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514) was a German humanist, historian, physician, and cartographer

  2. Over 1,800 colored woodcuts were created by the master Michael Wolgemut (1434-1519)

  3. The 29 double-page cityscapes are true highlights and use innovative new perspectives

World Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
World Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel

The World Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel (1440–1514) is a true book of superlatives. With its 1,809 woodcuts, it is particularly lavishly furnished and the large format also contributes to the imposing impression. In order to realize this courageous project, the German physician, humanist and historian teamed up with some famous names from Nuremberg. The magnificent illustrations were made in the workshop of Michael Wolgemut (1434–1519), who at the time had a very special apprentice: Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528). For the printing, Anton Koberger (ca. 1440–1513) joined the team, who first published the illustrated account of world history in a Latin and German version in 1493. Today, the 29 double-sided cityscapes with their fantastic architectures and interesting details are known above all others.

World Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel

As a book of superlatives, Schedel’s World Chronicle, measuring 44.3 x 30.8 centimeters, not only has a large-format but is also very richly illustrated with over 1,800 colored woodcuts. This extremely important illustrated incunabula appeared in Nuremberg in 1493 in a Latin and a German version. For this great book project, well-known names assembled around the doctor, humanist and historian Hartmann Schedel (1440–1514): Michael Wolgemut (1434–1519), together with his apprentice Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), was probably responsible for the manifold woodcuts and Anton Koberger (c. 1440–1513) joined the group as printer and publisher. Today, the world chronicle is best known for its magnificent cityscapes, some of which are considered the first truly realistic representations.

World History in Seven Chapters

In the narrative, the portrayal of world history follows the tradition of medieval chronicles, in which the history of the world is divided into seven ages. The first begins with the creation of the world and the last gives a view of the end of the world and the Last Judgment. In the Nuremberg Chronicle, however, the sixth age of the world is described most extensively. It ranges from the birth of Christ to the author’s present. In addition to historical events and persons, Schedel also reports miraculous phenomena and sensations and gives geographical information, especially regarding cities and areas.

A Team from Nuremberg

For his most important work, Schedel engaged no less than Michael Wolgemut for its decoration. At this time, the painter and master of woodcuts from Nuremberg had a very important apprentice in his workshop who is famous today: the young Albrecht Dürer. Precisely how large his contribution to the Chronicle actually was remains contested among researchers. As an important printer, publisher, and merchant of the incunabula period, Anton Koberger completed the team from Nuremberg.

Famous Cityscapes

Of the total of 1,809 woodcuts, 29 are double-page cityscapes. Each of them is provided with detailed descriptions of the founding history, names and facts about contemporary culture, as well as economy and trade. These illustrations of the geographical part of the chronicle are not only popular because of their numerous delightful details. Many of them are the oldest authentic images of the cities. For example, the woodcut of Nuremberg is the first printed view of its kind.


Alternative Titles
Liber Chronicarum de Hartmann Schedel
Nuremberg Chronicle
Liber Chronicarum von Hartmann Schedel
Nürnberger Chronik
Schedelsche Weltchronik
Liber Chronicarum - Schedelsche Weltchronik
Size / Format
594 pages / 44.3 × 30.8 cm
1809 colored woodcut engravings
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
World Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel – Edition Libri Illustri – Inc. 122 – Zentralbibliothek der Deutschen Klassik (Weimar, German)
Edition Libri Illustri – Ludwigsburg, 1990
Limited Edition: 800 copies
Detail Picture

World Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel

Title Page

The woodcut at the beginning of the chronicle shows God the Father and two shields, but they are bare and lack any coats of arms. Many early printed books left blank spaces for initials and marginal décor to be completed by hand according to the wishes of the purchaser, but this practice quickly faded as the art of engraving rapidly developed. These blank shields are a remnant of that practice, indicating that this was either an unsold copy or purchased by a wealthy burgher lacking nobility.

Schedelsche Weltchronik
Single Page

World Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel

Cityscape of Nuremberg

This printed chronicle is renowned for its detailed and artful double-page cityscapes. Here we see the Franconian metropolis of Nuremberg, one of the largest cities in the Holy Roman Empire and the site where this wonderful incunabulum – an early printed work predating 1500 – was created and printed. Both the Latin and German names of the city are listed above.

The city is a sea of red tile roofs protected by two rings of walls with many strong towers and a gate adorned with the imperial eagle. Numerous towers inside the city bear the escutcheons of the noble families who built them and the two most important churches are labelled. Nuremberg Castle, residence of German kings and emperors, sits atop the hill overlooking the rest of the city.

Schedelsche Weltchronik
Facsimile Editions

#1 Schedelsche Weltchronik

Edition Libri Illustri – Ludwigsburg, 1990

Publisher: Edition Libri Illustri – Ludwigsburg, 1990
Limited Edition: 800 copies
Binding: Parchment
Commentary: 1 volume
Language: German
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) 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.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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