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“In einem Augenblick”: Leveling Landscapes in Seventeenth-Century Disaster Flap Prints

News traveled quickly in the early modern era, and printed accounts of the most
recent international disasters fueled this fascination. Book and print collectors
could experience these incidents safely at home with novel, interactive broadsheets
with liftable flaps. The most famous grouping showed the 1618 rockslide that
completely destroyed the Graubünden mining district of Plurs, near Switzerland.
Inspired by Zurich printer Johann Hardmeyer’s 1618 publication, in 1619, Strasbourg
and Nuremberg publishers Jacob van der Heyden and Johann Philipp Walch
produced their own. Such tactile additions helped viewers literally grasp the extent
of the wreckage while they perused the letterpress describing the newsworthy
event. This article examines these unruly printed landscapes, their published
afterlives, and their relationship to existing landscape modes.