Philipp Apian’s Drawings, Watercolors, and Woodcuts


Between 1554 and 1561 Philipp Apian (1531−89) carried out a topographical survey of Bavaria at the behest of Duke Albrecht V. Made without the use of triangulation, Apian's map is considered the first mathematically measured map of a large region. In 1563, Apian completed a large-scale version on vellum to a scale of 1:40,000. This map was destroyed, however, in the 18th century. At the request of the duke, Apian reduced the map scale to 1:145,000 and prepared it for woodblock printing. Jost Amman executed the artwork for the borders and cartouches for this edition. This second version was issued in 1568 and remained the official map of Bavaria until the 19th century. In the course of his surveying work Apian also collected material for a Descriptio Bavariae and had views of castles, settlements, and landscapes prepared for it. After resigning his professorship at Tübingen, Apian worked on the text of the Descriptio between 1584 and 1589, but his death prevented the printing of the work, which was to have combined the map with an illustrated description of the country. Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria bought the unpublished manuscript for 1,000 gulden.

Last updated: January 25, 2019