Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


The visualization of perspective systems and iconology in Dürer’s cartographic works : an in-depth analysis using multiple methodological approaches Public Deposited

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  • This dissertation uses a new methodological approach for an in-depth analysis of three cartographic works. Studies within the discipline of the history of cartography have followed various methodologies throughout the past century. This dissertation argues that in order to come to a more complete understanding of how maps were produced and viewed throughout history, it is necessary to study their geographical and scholastic context on a variety of scales: their modes of production, the city in which they were produced, the surrounding academic community responsible for the content, the vernacular and academic viewers at the time, and how the maps would be been received both at the time of their dissemination and subsequently. Albrecht Dürer produced one terrestrial and two celestial maps in the early sixteenth century under the patronage of the Emperor Maximilian I, which were co-authored by Johannes Stabius and Conrad Heinfogel. Despite the collaborative nature of these maps, Dürer’s influence pertaining to the final visualizations is substantial enough to warrant the majority of focus in this dissertation. Widely esteemed during the Renaissance and in later periods throughout all of Western Europe, Dürer is best known for his copperplate and woodcut engravings. The Northern artistic trend of artistic realism and the Italian one-point perspective system were combined in Dürer’s terrestrial map, resulting in a visualization of his artistic theory of perspective. This highlights the theme of my dissertation, which is the integral nature of artistic and scientific forces in Renaissance maps. Dürer’s experimentation with projection, unfortunately, was too subtle for contemporary audiences, who could not visualize the distinctions between his projection system and Ptolemy’s. I attribute this as the main reason to why his terrestrial map was never printed. His celestial maps were printed multiple times and disseminated throughout Europe. These were novel for the sixteenth century, combining accuracy of star-placement with classical constellation figures. Dürer’s cartographic works demonstrate an innovativeness with form and representation. His fame as both a practical and theoretical artist justifies a closer examination of his influence on subsequent cartographic works.
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