The Italian Poems of the Master Francesco Petrarcha
Francesco Petrarca (also known as Petrarch, 1304–74) was an Italian poet and scholar, often called the Father of the Renaissance. The greatest scholar of his era, Petrarch advocated the basic continuity between Christianity and the classical culture of Greece and Rome. While he wrote mainly in Latin and personally discovered many long-lost Latin manuscripts, he is best known for his Italian lyric poetry, much of it written to Laura, the idealized subject of his love who is identified by many scholars as Laure de Noves (circa 1308–48) of ...
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The Magic Flute
Die Zauberflöte (The magic flute) is among the best known of the 22 operas written by the Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91). Mozart composed the opera in the spring and summer of 1791, with the exception of the Overture and the March of the Priests at the beginning of Act II. These parts were completed only a few days before the premiere on September 30 of that year. Shown here is Mozart’s original manuscript score. During the initial phase of work, Mozart normally wrote only the melody ...
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Christmas Oratorio
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) composed six cantatas for the Christmas holidays in 1734, one to be performed on each of the individual feast days during the services in Leipzig’s main churches, Saint Thomas and Saint Nicolai. The running narrative of the Gospel, as well as the keys in which the framing musical statements were composed, give the cantatas the character of a self-contained cycle. For most of the arias and choruses, Bach added new text to music derived from his earlier compositions, most notably from two congratulatory cantatas ...
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The Lower Sorbian Testament of Miklawuš Jakubica, 1548
This 669-page manuscript contains the complete translation of the New Testament into Lower Sorbian by Pastor Miklawus Jakubica. It is one of the most important cultural documents relating to the Sorbian people of eastern Germany and an important source for the study of the West Slavic languages. Completed in 1548, Jakubica’s translation, which includes many colorful illustrations of flowers, trees, and animals, has never been printed. As the groundwork for his translation, Jakubica used Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible into German, as well as the Latin Vulgate ...
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Book of Herbs
Johannes Hartlieb’s Kräuterbuch (Book of herbs) of 1462 is basically an extract from Konrad von Megenberg’s Buch der Natur (Book of nature) written a century earlier, which was the first natural history in the German language. Hartlieb’s subject is plants, mostly herbs, and their medical uses. What makes the Kräuterbuch special is the side-by-side presentation of text and images. The high cost of such a richly decorated book makes it unlikely that it was actually used by doctors or pharmacists of the time. The botanical imprecision of ...
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Regimen of Health
Heinrich von Laufenberg (circa 1390–1460) was a cleric from the southwest German town of Freiburg, a prolific writer of prose and verse in both German and Latin, who is best known for his religious lyrics. His Regimen Sanitatis (Regimen of health) of 1429 is a medical-astronomical compendium of guidance to healthful living that stretches to more than 6,000 lines of metrical German. The work presents the reader with practical rules for healthy living concerning such matters as a balanced diet, phlebotomy (bloodletting, then a common treatment to prevent ...
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Stories of the Prophets
Qisas al-anbiya (Stories of the prophets) by the 12th-century Persian writer Ishaq Ibn-Ibrahim al-Nishapuri contains the history of the prophets up to Muhammad, recounted on the basis of the Qur’anic narration. It includes stories drawn from the biblical traditions of the Old Testament as well as material on the pre-Islamic prophets of the Arabian Peninsula. This splendid and richly illuminated manuscript containing 22 miniatures was copied in Shiraz (in present-day Iran) in 1577, at the time a center of the arts in Safavid Persia. The manuscript once belonged to ...
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Max and Moritz: A Story of Naughty Boys in Seven Pranks
Max and Moritz, a picture story about two mischievous little boys, is one of the most popular German children’s books. The first edition came out in late October 1865 in a print run of 4,000 copies. The author, Wilhelm Busch (1832–1908), had intended to have his tale published in Fliegende Blätter, then a successful satirical weekly paper, but publisher Kaspar Braun included the title in the children’s books catalog of the firm of Braun & Schneider. The comic story is told in rhyming verse, and divided into ...
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Palace of the Elector of Brandenburg
This birds-eye view map offers a detailed picture of the Berlin palace of the elector of Brandenburg as it appeared in 1688. The residence was part of a large fortress that Frederick William I (1620–88) ordered built following the end of the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48) in Germany. Construction began in 1650 under the direction of the architect and engineer, Johann Gregor Memhardt (1607–78), and continued for more than a quarter of a century. The complex, also known as the Berlin Fortress, had five city gates and ...
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Ninety-Five Theses
Martin Luther’s Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum of 1517, commonly known as the Ninety-Five Theses, is considered the central document of the Protestant Reformation. Its complete title reads: “Out of love and zeal for clarifying the truth, these items written below will be debated at Wittenberg. Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology and an official professor at Wittenberg, will speak in their defense. He asks this in the matter: That those who are unable to be present to debate with us in speech should ...
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Gospel Concordance
This 1635 Gospel concordance in Armenian was written, illuminated, and bound at the Holy Savior's Monastery in Nor Jugha (now called Julfa), the Armenian quarter of Isfahan (in present-day Iran). Isfahan was at that time the capital of Safavid Persia. The book is finely illuminated with four portraits of the evangelists, along with vignettes, headpieces, and decorated initials that are either zoomorphic or anthropomorphic in form. The miniatures on the first seven pages are later additions by a different hand. The manuscript is one of the highlights of the ...
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Fencing Book
This early-16th-century book about fencing consists almost entirely of illustrations, with a minimal amount of text appearing as captions. It consists of 258 drawings on 130 pages, most of which show a pair of fighters using the different cut and thrust weapons that were common at that time: the long sword, the short sword, and the dagger. The work is anonymous, but it owes much to the written and pictorial work of Hans Talhoffer (circa 1420–circa 1490), a fencing instructor, famous sword fighter, and author of several Fechtbücher (fencing ...
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Siddur
This codex is widely considered to be one of the most original of extant medieval mahzorim (Jewish holy day prayer books) from Spain, dating probably from the beginning of the 14th century. Written in Hebrew in Sephardic square characters, it contains two distinct parts that later were bound together. The larger part forms a Haggadah shel Pesach (the text of the order of service used at the beginning of Passover). It includes piyutim (liturgical poems, usually sung or chanted) for Passover and the Aramaic targum (translation) of Exodus, followed by ...
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Locomotive: Newspaper for the Political Education of the People, No. 1, April 1, 1848
The radical 1848 newspaper Locomotive is the most important journalistic work of Friedrich Wilhelm Alexander Held (1813–72). After pursuing a military career as an officer in the Prussian army, Held returned to civilian life and worked for a time as an actor and writer. In 1843, he moved to Leipzig where he published the newspaper, Die Lokomotive (The locomotive). The paper quickly achieved success, its circulation reaching some 12,000 copies per day. His paper was soon banned, even though Held was less a political radical than an advocate ...
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Storming the Encampment at Gadan-Ola
The “Battle Copper Prints” are a series of prints from copper engravings dating from the second half of the 18th century. They were commissioned by the Qianlong emperor of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), who ruled from 1735 to 1796. They depict his military campaigns in China’s inner provinces and along the country’s frontiers. The master illustrations for the engravings were large paintings done by European missionary artists employed at that time at the court in Beijing. These artists were Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione (1688–1766), French Jesuit ...
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Berlin State Library - Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation
Pacifying and Receiving the Surrender of Yili
The “Battle Copper Prints” are a series of prints from copper engravings dating from the second half of the 18th century. They were commissioned by the Qianlong emperor of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), who ruled from 1735 to 1796. They depict his military campaigns in China’s inner provinces and along the country’s frontiers. The master illustrations for the engravings were large paintings done by European missionary artists employed at that time at the court in Beijing. These artists were Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione (1688–1766), French Jesuit ...
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Berlin State Library - Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation
The Battle of Oroi-Jalatu
The “Battle Copper Prints” are a series of prints from copper engravings dating from the second half of the 18th century. They were commissioned by the Qianlong emperor of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), who ruled from 1735 to 1796. They depict his military campaigns in China’s inner provinces and along the country’s frontiers. The master illustrations for the engravings were large paintings done by European missionary artists employed at that time at the court in Beijing. These artists were Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione (1688–1766), French Jesuit ...
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Berlin State Library - Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation
The Victory of Khorgos
The “Battle Copper Prints” are a series of prints from copper engravings dating from the second half of the 18th century. They were commissioned by the Qianlong emperor of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), who ruled from 1735 to 1796. They depict his military campaigns in China’s inner provinces and along the country’s frontiers. The master illustrations for the engravings were large paintings done by European missionary artists employed at that time at the court in Beijing. These artists were Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione (1688–1766), French Jesuit ...
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Berlin State Library - Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation
The Battle of Khurungui
The “Battle Copper Prints” are a series of prints from copper engravings dating from the second half of the 18th century. They were commissioned by the Qianlong emperor of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), who ruled from 1735 to 1796. They depict his military campaigns in China’s inner provinces and along the country’s frontiers. The master illustrations for the engravings were large paintings done by European missionary artists employed at that time at the court in Beijing. These artists were Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione (1688–1766), French Jesuit ...
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Berlin State Library - Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation
The Chief of Us Surrenders with His City
The “Battle Copper Prints” are a series of prints from copper engravings dating from the second half of the 18th century. They were commissioned by the Qianlong emperor of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), who ruled from 1735 to 1796. They depict his military campaigns in China’s inner provinces and along the country’s frontiers. The master illustrations for the engravings were large paintings done by European missionary artists employed at that time at the court in Beijing. These artists were Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione (1688–1766), French Jesuit ...
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Berlin State Library - Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation
The Great Victory at Qurman
The “Battle Copper Prints” are a series of prints from copper engravings dating from the second half of the 18th century. They were commissioned by the Qianlong emperor of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), who ruled from 1735 to 1796. They depict his military campaigns in China’s inner provinces and along the country’s frontiers. The master illustrations for the engravings were large paintings done by European missionary artists employed at that time at the court in Beijing. These artists were Italian Jesuit Giuseppe Castiglione (1688–1766), French Jesuit ...
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Berlin State Library - Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation