Burgkmair's Peoples of Africa and India (1508) and the Origins of Ethnography in Print

Leitch, Stephanie
June 2009
Art Bulletin;Jun2009, Vol. 91 Issue 2, p134
Academic Journal
This article discusses the handcolored woodcut print "Peoples of Africa and India," by the German artist Hans Burgkmair, printed in Augsburg, Germany in 1508. The woodcut is stated to be based on a report of the travels of the Tirolese merchant Balthasar Springer in 1505 and 1506, titled "Die Merfart und erfarung nüwer Schiffung und Wege zu viln unerkanten Inseln und Künigreichen" (The Voyage and Discoveries of New Paths to Many Unknown Islands and Kingdoms). The author suggests that Burgkmair's work is unique in its portrayal of the native peoples of coastal Africa and the Malabar Coast of India, in that it does not present stereotyped images.


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