born Nürnberg, 06. Oct 1459
died Lissabon, 25. Jul 1507
* 6. 10. 1459 Nuremberg - † 29. 7. 1507 Lisbon, buried in the Dominican Church there.
Son of Martin, merchant and councillor. ∞ Azores before 1489 Johanna (Joãna) de Macedo, a son. Educated as a cloth merchant in Mechelen/Flanders and Antwerp. His astronomical knowledge could go back to Regiomontanus. 1479, 1481, 1484 travels to Lisbon, 1484/85 member of the Portuguese Junta for nautical discoveries, participant in an expedition to the west coast of Africa almost to the Cape of Good Hope. After his return, he was awarded the title of Knight of the Order of Christ on 18.2.1485. Before 1489 he moved to the Azores, where he married the daughter of the Fleming Jobst von Hurter (Josse d'Utra), governor of the Azores islands Fayal and Pico. 1491-93 he stayed in Nuremberg. In 1492 he designed together with Hieronymus Münzer and Hartmann Schedel the first preserved globe of the earth, painted by Georg Glockendon. He died in a lonely and impoverished state in the German Bartholomew Hospital in Lisbon. In 1519, his son Martin († 1511) donated a funerary chandelier to St. Catherine's Church (now in the GNM). Panzer recorded his portrait. Martin-Behaim-Straße and the Martin-Behaim-Schule in Nuremberg were named after him; Behaimdenkmal on Theresienplatz, inaugurated on 17.9.1890, design by Friedrich Wanderer and Hans Rössner.
MuS: NÜRNBERG, StadtA. -, GNM: Globe 1492.
Lit.: NDB; Doppelmayr, 1730; Will, GL I, p. 85, V, pp. 74-77; C. G. Müller, 1791; F. Witte, in: GNM M, 1909; F. W. Ghillany: Geschichte des Seefahrers Ritter Martin Behaim, Nürnberg 1853; E. G. Ravenstein: Martin Behaim, his life and his globe, London 1908; H. Kellenbenz, in: Lebensbilder Franken 3, 1969; Erlanger/Fischer, 2000; Stadtlexikon 2000.
Exhibited: 1906/2; 1907/3; 1957/5 EA; 1966/3; 1971/3; 1992/3 Focus Behaim globe.
(quoted from the Nuremberg Künstlerlexikon, edited by Manfred H. Grieb).