Friday, April 19, 2013

The Nuremberg Chronicle/die Schedelsche Weltchronik: the essential bibliography (updated)

Update 19 April 2013: I've added two articles to the previously empty section on the illustrations of the Nuremberg Chronicle, as well as a link to Christoph Reske's online summary, and added one book to the content and context section.

At SCSC last fall, the topic of one conversation turned to the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493) and which aspects of it have been treated by scholarly literature. The coverage is uneven. For some topics, there are several essential books or articles, while for others there are none. Since then, I've been thinking about which contributions to the secondary literature anyone planning to write about the Nuremberg Chronicle should read without fail. Here is a first attempt at an essential bibliography.

Bibliographic overviews
  • Hernad, Béatrice, and Franz Josef Worstbrock. “Schedel, Hartmann.” Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters: Verfasserlexikon 8:609-21. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1992.
  • Zahn, Peter. “Hartmann Schedels Weltchronik: Bilanz der jüngeren Forschung.” Bibliotheksforum Bayern 24 (1996): 230–48.
A more current but briefer overview is Christoph Reske's summary for the Historisches Lexikon Bayerns, available online.

Hartmann Schedel
  • Hernad, Béatrice. Die Graphiksammlung des Humanisten Hartmann Schedel. Munich: Prestel, 1990.
  • Stauber, Richard. Die Schedelsche Bibliothek: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Ausbreitung der italienischen Renaissance, des deutschen Humanismus und der medizinischen Literatur. Freiburg: Herder, 1908.
These two works are essential for studies of Schedel, but it's important not to exaggerate Schedel's role in writing the Nuremberg Chronicle. The financiers and the artists were the creative originators and financial risk-takers in the project, while Schedel was paid to compile a text according to specification.

Schedel's sources
  • Haitz, Michael. Hartmann Schedel’s Weltchronik. Diss. Munich. Munich: Lüneburg’s Buchhandlung, 1899.
Haitz is still the best study of Schedel's sources, but he stopped after looking at the first fifty folios, and I (as well as others) have come across some sources that Haitz missed. The massive availability of late medieval texts in electronic editions today should make a thorough updating of Haitz's work relatively straightforward, if not easy. Klaus Vogel's contribution to Füssel's volume (1994, see below) points out the need to revisit the issue, but by his own admission doesn't go beyond what Haitz had already accomplished.

Production and distribution

  • Reske, Christoph. Die Produktion der Schedelschen Weltchronik in Nürnberg. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2000.
  • Zahn, Peter. “Die Endabrechnung über den Druck der Schedelschen Weltchronik (1493) vom 22. Juni 1509: Text und Analyse.” Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 66 (1991): 177–213.
This has been the most thoroughly studied aspect of the Nuremberg Chronicle, and both of the studies listed here are absolutely essential reading and surpass Adrian Wilson's Making of the Nuremberg Chronicle (1976). For Reske, which was a hybrid print and electronic publication, it's necessary to look both at the printed text and the PDFs that accompany it on CD.

Leonhard Sladeczek's argument that the young Albrecht Dürer was responsible for some of the woodcuts was published as Albrecht Dürer und die Illustrationen zur Schedelchronik: Neue Fragen um den jungen Dürer (1965). The essential bibliography for the readings consists of two articles. Peter Zahn says, Sladeczek was right! Christoph Reske replies, No, he wasn't!
  • Zahn, Peter. "Albrecht Dürer und die Holzschnitte der Schedelschen Weltchronik." Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 77 (2002): 124–44. Zahn
  • Reske, Christoph. "Albrecht Dürers Beziehung zur 'Schedelschen Weltchronik' unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des 'Berliner Stockes': Quellenkundliche, formale und kunsthirstorische Anmerkungen." Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 78 (2003): 45–66. 
Georg Alt's German translation
I wouldn't call any of the articles that have addressed the translation essential. That includes my own article (2008), which focuses on translation in a print media context. An article by Volker Schupp (1994) touches on the translation but does not go into great depth.

Content and cultural context
  • Füssel, Stephan, ed. 500 Jahre Schedelsche Weltchronik: Akten des interdisziplinären Symposions vom 23./24. April 1993 in Nürnberg. Pirckheimer-Jahrbuch 9. Nuremberg: Hans Carl, 1994.
  • Füssel, Stephan. Die Welt im Buch: buchkünstlerischer und humanistischer Kontext der Schedelschen Weltchronik von 1493. Mainz: Gutenberg-Gesellschaft, 1996.
  • Rücker, Elisabeth. Die Schedelsche Weltchronik: das größte Buchunternehmen der Dürer-Zeit. Munich: Prestel, 1973. 2nd ed. 1988.

Rather than definitive statements, these three books provide convenient overviews of several different approaches to the Nuremberg Chronicle. In addition, there are several older commentaries on the work as a whole, most brief and superficial, and many articles and book chapters on particular aspects of the Nuremberg Chronicle, but none are absolutely essential outside of their specific focus.

I wouldn't call my analysis (2006) of the readers of the Nuremberg Chronicle and their uses of the text essential, but for anyone interested in similar questions, it's not a bad place to start.

No comments:

Post a Comment