The Atlas of Early Printing

About the Illustrations

The images in the headers of the Atlas of Early Printing are derived from an illustration by Fritz Kredel that originally appeared as the frontispiece to Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt's Peter Schoeffer of Gernsheim and Mainz; With a List of His Surviving Books and Broadsides, published in 1950 by the Printing House of L. Hart. The images are reproduced with the permission of Kredel's family, and their assistance is gratefully acknowledged.

Kredel's illustration places Schoeffer in the context of the geography that defined his life and work, and the elements of a printer and printshop, rivers and transportation, and a market town with a bookseller/agent receiving barrels of books nicely encapsulates the web of connections between geography, a burgeoning print trade, and related industries, that the Atlas of Early Printing depicts.

Fritz Kredel was a prominent German woodcut artist and illustrator. He was born in 1900 in Michaelstadt, Germany. Kredel was one of the first members of Rudolph Koch's studio near Frankfurt, having been a student of Koch's. In 1938, Kredel emigrated to the United States with his family, fleeing Nazism in Europe.

Kredel's work appears in many hundreds of books, posters, maps, and fine art prints. For more information on the life and work of Fritz Kredel, please see the article "Fritz Kredel: Artist, Illustrator, and Grandfather" in Printing History: The Journal of the American Printing History Association, New Series Number 14 (July 2013), authored by Kredel's granddaughter, Mathilde Kredel Brown Swanson.


Fritz Kredel's Illustration of Early Book Printing