In 1631, Matthaeus Merian and Johann Ludwig Gottfried published a one-volume abridgment of the monumental America series issued by Theodor De Bry and his two sons. Historia Antipodum can be considered the apotheosis of the collection of voyages to the New World. This article argues that the abridgment, rather than the independent publication it is sometimes taken to be, was constructed with the same editorial strategy in mind as earlier De Bry volumes. Heathen beliefs in the western hemisphere were further emphasized, European superiority was visualized more clearly, and the predilection for spectacular images was stronger than ever. In many ways, the modifications Merian and Gottfried made to both texts and illustrations surpassed the changes made for the original volumes of America. In bringing together these representations in a single, affordable volume, Merian and Gottfried prolonged the influence of the De Bry collection and its carefully manipulated representations until well into the eighteenth century.
America Abridged: Matthaeus Merian, Johann Ludwig Gottfried, and the Apotheosis of the De Bry Collection of Voyages
Michiel van Groesen; America Abridged: Matthaeus Merian, Johann Ludwig Gottfried, and the Apotheosis of the De Bry Collection of Voyages. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 1 January 2011; 41 (1): 67–92. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10829636-2010-012
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