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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 

Ferdinand Columbus:
Renaissance Collector

9 February – 5 June 2005
Free

Exhibition closed

Room 90

Sponsored by American Friends of the British Museum

The print collection of Ferdinand, son of Christopher Columbus, is the earliest known to historians. The prints themselves were dispersed long ago, but an inventory preserved in Seville describes 3200 engravings, woodcuts and maps.

The exhibition presents a partial reconstruction of this collection with around 150 prints by all the most important Renaissance printmakers. Included are works from Italy by Antonio Polllaiuolo, Marcantonio Raimondi and Giovanni Battista Palumba; from Germany by Albrecht Dürer, Albrect Altdorfer, Hans Baldung and Hans Weiditz; from the low countries by Lucas van Leyden and Jost de Negker.

Many are large format prints such as maps that have rarely been exhibited. A highlight of the exhibition is a stencil coloured genealogical tree of the House of Charles V by Robert Peril that is 7.3 metres long.

St George and the Dragon, engraving

Israhel van Meckenem, St George and the Dragon, engraving, Germany, c.1470-1500.