Engraved plate, Discovery of the New World

The engraved copper plate "Discovery of the New World" was used to print illustration number six in Nova Typis Transacta Navigatio, an account of Columbus's expeditions published in Austria in 1621. The plate was engraved by Wolfgang Kilian (1581–1662), one of a distinguished family of artists and engravers from Augsburg, Germany. The scene represents European explorers being welcomed at a feast by Native Americans.
The publication was dedicated to Caspar Plautius, Abbot of the Benedictine monastery of Seitenstetten, where the book was published. Plautius also has been suggested as the author of the work, which treats the exploration and discovery of the Americas and the role of Benedictine priests as missionaries. The Benedictines, under Father Bernardo Boyl or Buell, were sent by the King of Spain to Christianize the native peoples of the New World. The plate came to the Smithsonian in 1905 from the Seitenstetten monastery, through Prof. P. Joseph Schock. Several impressions were printed from the plate in 1913.
Currently not on view
Date made
Kilian, Wolfgang
Place Made
Physical Description
copper (overall material)
plate: 7 in x 11 in; 17.78 cm x 27.94 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Exploration and Discovery
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Culture and the Arts: Graphic Arts
Cultures & Communities
Data Source
National Museum of American History