Born in Moravia, Georg Flegel settled in Vienna by 1580 where he was an assistant to the painter Lucas van Valckenborch I. Later they both moved to Frankfurt drawn by the local prosperity resulting from Frankfurt's biennial fairs that brought to the city rich foreign merchants, luxury goods and art collectors. Frankfurt was then an important art-dealing city. As an assistant Flegel supplied his employer's paintings with still lifes of fruit, flowers, and table utensils. After Lucas van Valckenborch's death in 1597, Flegel took over his workshop. His two sons were his students at different time.
The ancient Carta Marina of the north-east Atlantic was published in 1539. It almost perfectly represents the ocean currents and eddies that swirl today. Its creator, Olaus Magnus (1490–1557), an exiled Swedish priest living in Italy, probably gleaned his information from traders and mariners who sailed the North Atlantic. The map is physically huge, it's made up of 9 wood lithograph prints and gives the first reasonably accurate description of all of northern Two copies of this map exist today and one of these can be seen at the library at the University of Uppsala, Sweden.Only two earlier maps of Scandinavia are known, The maps of Jacob Ziegler and Claudius Clavus are the only two known earlier maps of Scandinavia.