Daniel Good Rare Books and Engravings
1657 Mat. Merian - Ornithology: Magpies - Folio hand coloured engraving
Folio Leaf: 37 x 23 cms.
Hand coloured copper engraving.
Matthäus Merian der Ältere (or "Matthew", "the Elder", or "Sr."; 22 September 1593 - 19 June 1650) was a Swiss-born engraver who worked in Frankfurt for most of his career, where he also ran a publishing house.
Born in Basel, Merian learned the art of copperplate engraving in Zürich. He next worked and studied in Strasbourg, Nancy, and Paris, before returning to Basel in 1615. The following year he moved to Frankfurt, Germany where he worked for the publisher Johann Theodor de Bry, who was the son of renowned engraver and traveler Theodor de Bry.
Early in his life, he had created detailed town plans in his unique style, e.g. the plan of Basel (1615). With Martin Zeiler (1589 - 1661), a German geographer, and later (circa 1640) with his own son, Matthäus Merian (der Jüngere, i.e. "the Younger" or "Jr.") (1621 - 1687), he produced a series of Topographia. It includes numerous town plans and views, as well as maps of most countries and a World Map—it was such a popular work. He also took over and completed the later parts and editions of the Grand Voyages and Petits Voyages, originally started by de Bry in 1590.