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Exhibitions | Past

The Wormsley Library
A Personal Selection by Sir Paul Getty, K.B.E.

January 27 through May 2, 1999

Bonet | Cobden-Sanderson | Martin | Ottobeuren | Ulm Ptolemy | Boleyn

THE ULM PTOLEMY

CLAUDIUS PTOLEMAEUS. Cosmographia. Ulm: Lienhart Holle, 16 July 1482.

This is the third illustrated edition of Ptolemy, the first to be printed north of the Alps. The text for this edition was a manuscript translated into Latin by Jacobus Angeli and edited by Nicolaus Germanus that had been brought to Ulm from Rome in 1468.

This is the first edition to be illustrated with woodcuts instead of the copper engravings used for the two preceding editions of 1477 (Bologna) and 1478 (Rome). It is one of the twelve copies printed on vellum of a total of about 120 surviving copies. The vivid blues are the result of adding crushed lapis lazuli to the pigment.

Although he was technically accomplished, Lienhart Holle was an unsuccessful businessman. His most significant work comes from the period 1482–83, after which he ended in bankruptcy, partly because of this Ptolemy, the first and most significant of the six books marking his career.

© The Wormsley Library, United Kingdom

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.