Michael Wening (1645–1718) was commissioned since 1696 by the Bavarian Court and by the Bavarian Territorial Estates (Landstände) to create a topographical work with views and descriptions of the cities, monasteries and castles of Bavaria. The work appeared between 1701 and 1726 in four volumes under the title "Historico-Topographica Descriptio". With 846 illustrations in total, the Historico-Topographica Descriptio is probably the most comprehensive description of a part of Europe in the pre-modern times.
Appropriate to the representative character of the work, the illustrations are often idealising – for example as regards the condition of the building substance. Those illustration that Wening created himself in loco, distinguish themselves though by their high degree of precision and they are of high value for (art-) historical research. Other engravings were, however, made based on older graphic works and on drawings that had been sent in. Worth mentioning are the views of Bavarian monasteries, which as a rule show most faithfully the building substance before the Baroque conversions or illustrate building projects that were never realised.
The copper plates were delivered to the court in accordance with the contract and are today among the property of the Landesamt für Digitalisierung, Breitband und Vermessung.
>> The copper-plate prints by Michael Wening are preserved at the Landesamt für Digitalisierung, Breitband und Vermessung (Agency for Digitisation, High-Speed Internet and Surveying).