15 results in English
Atlas of Joan Martines
This manuscript atlas by Joan Martines, cosmographer to King Philip II of Spain, dated 1587, represents the combination of two cartographic schools that existed at the time of its creation. The older one was the traditional school of Majorca, which specialized in decorative portolan maps that by this time were obsolete with regard to the geographic information they conveyed. The newer one was the cartographic school of the Low Countries, which applied Renaissance principles and used different forms of cartographic representation based on new concepts in astronomy, mathematics, and geography ...
Contributed by National Library of Spain
Atlas
This atlas has been attributed to the important Portuguese cartographer, navigator, and illuminator Fernão Vaz Dourado (circa 1520−80), based on similarities between other maps by Vaz and illustrations in this manuscript. Vaz spent his last years in Portuguese Goa (present-day India) and is known to have produced seven brilliantly illuminated sea atlases between 1568 and 1580. His portolan charts belong to a class of late-16th-century cartographic masterpieces, which reflect the period’s rising demand for cartographic works that were both visually impressive and accurate for practical navigation. This atlas ...
Portolan Atlas Dedicated to Hieronymus Ruffault, Abbot of Saint Vaast and Saint Adrian
Battista Agnese, one of the most important Italian Renaissance cartographers, was born in Genoa. He worked in Venice in the period 1536−64, and in about 1544 he produced this sumptuous and well-executed manuscript atlas in pen-and-ink and watercolor with silver and gold illumination on vellum. The atlas reflects the latest geographic knowledge, gained primarily from voyages by Spanish and Portuguese explorers in the first half of the 16th century. A mere 50 years after Columbus's historic voyage of 1492, new information based on direct observation was rapidly changing ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Portolan Chart of the Pacific Coast from Guatemala to Northern Peru with the Galapagos Islands
Presented here is a detailed Spanish portolan chart on vellum of the Pacific Coast from Guatemala to northern Peru, including the Galapagos Islands. The face of the map, shown first, has a long axis extending east and west and wind roses with fleur-de-lis indicators pointing north. A distance scale at top right is partly torn away; a latitude scale, from 17 degrees north to about nine degrees south, is also damaged. The abundant coastal nomenclature is carefully written, and many coastal features, towns, and settlements are indicated. Stylized architectural drawings ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Map of the Island of Newfoundland, 1689
This nautical map of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence was drawn in 1689 by the Basque cartographer Pierre Detcheverry at Plaisance (present-day Placentia, Newfoundland, Canada), the French capital of Newfoundland, for Governor Antoine Parat. It contains many place-names in the Basque language and details the many anchorages along the coast between Newfoundland and Tadoussac (present-day Quebec). Along with the Portuguese, the Basques were early arrivals to the fishing grounds off the coast of Newfoundland. They began whaling and fishing for cod in these waters around 1525. Their method was to ...
Map of the Atlantic Ocean, 1613
This 1613 map of the Atlantic Ocean and of parts of Europe, Africa, and North and South America was made in the French port city of Havre de Grace by Pierre de Vaulx, a cartographer and pilot in the French royal navy. Richly illuminated, the map is in the great tradition of Norman cartography that began in the previous century. The de Vaulx family, originally from Pont-Audemer, settled in Le Havre soon after King François I founded the city in 1517. Jacques de Vaulx produced a compilation of contemporary works ...
Map of the North Atlantic Ocean, 1674
From the 1500s to the 1700s, explorers, geographers, and the royal government of France continued the search for a passage that would allow easy communication between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and better access to the treasures of the East Indies. Spurred by Indian reports, the idea of a special sea north of California emerged in the mid-17th century. Geographers quickly seized upon this hypothetical Western Sea and gave it a cartographic life. The de L’Isle family was at the heart of this geographic illusion. Denis de Rotis, a ...
World Map, 1566
This portolan world map, drawn by Nicolas Desliens in 1566, synthesizes Norman hydrographic knowledge in the mid-16th century. It is one of two world maps by Desliens known to exist; the other dates from 1541. The map is oriented with south at the top and north at the bottom, giving it an upside-down look to the modern viewer. La Nouvelle France occidentalle (Western New France) is written in large letters over an arc-shaped North America. The map shows all territories of the world except part of the western coast of ...
Map of the Atlantic Ocean, 1601
This portolan map of the Atlantic Ocean, made by Guillaume Levasseur in 1601, reflects the high level of accuracy achieved by French mapmakers of the Norman school of hydrographers, who by this time had been charting the Atlantic for well over a century. The map is also a rich store of historic place-names. For Canada, it provides 28 place-names extracted from the writings of Jacques Cartier, seven of which were original. “Quebec,” for example, makes its appearance here for the first time. The northeastern part of North America is labeled ...
Portolan Atlas of the Mediterranean Sea, Western Europe, and the Northwest Coast of Africa
Portolan charts came into use on sailing vessels in the Mediterranean Sea toward the end of the 13th century. Made for and, in many cases, by seamen, these nautical maps were characterized by the system of intersecting loxodromes, or rhumb lines, which crisscross each chart and the ornamented compass rose that usually appears. This atlas of five manuscript charts has been attributed to Juan Oliva, a member of the illustrious Oliva family of Catalan chartmakers who began working in Majorca some time before 1550. The atlas was compiled no earlier ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Nautical Chart of the Mediterranean Basin
This portolan nautical chart, of Catalan origin, illustrates the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea with a wealth of detail, with toponyms of the inhabited areas shown without regard to political-territorial divisions. Nautical charts came into use on sailing vessels in the Mediterranean toward the end of the 13th century, coinciding with much broader seafaring activity and exploration. These charts supplemented the written instructions, or portolanos, which had been used for several centuries and thus were called portolan charts. The main centers of production for these charts were Spain and ...
Mediterranean Sea Region 1569
This portolan chart by the prominent Italian cartographer and engraver Paolo Forlani is the first sea chart engraved and printed on copperplate. Forlani was born in Verona but flourished in Venice in 1560–74. Most of his maps appeared under the imprint of other publishers, including Giovanni Francesco Camocio, Ferrando Bertelli, and Bolognini Zaltieri in Venice and Claudio Duchetti in Rome―members of the Lafreri school of cartography, some of whose printing plates were still used well into the 17th century. Nominally a map of the Mediterranean Sea region, the ...
Atlas with Portolan Charts of the Old World and New World, 1580
This atlas of portolan charts of the old and the new worlds consists of 16 double leaves made from fine white parchment, bound in costly red morocco leather (made from fine goatskin) with gold ornaments in oriental style. The important Portuguese mariner, cartographer, and painter Fernão Vaz Dourado is thought to have made the atlas in 1580, near the end of his life. It belongs to a class of late-16th-century cartographic masterpieces, which reflect the period’s rising demand for cartographic works that were both visually impressive and useful for ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Portolan Chart (Old World)
Among the geographic manuscripts in the Bavarian State Library is a series of the most important portolan charts that have come down to the present. These charts consist of a single piece of sheepskin with part of the sheep’s neck, showing the outlines of the continents and the names of coastal settlements. The maps include several rose compasses and show landmarks, the distances between which could be determined using a pair of dividers. The maps were an important navigational aid to mariners. The holes in the parchment reveal the ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Book on Navigation
Originally composed in 1525 and dedicated to Sultan Süleyman I (the Magnificent), this great work by Piri Reis (died circa 1555) on navigation was later revised and expanded. Born in about 1470 in Gelibolu (Gallipoli), Piri Reis became an Ottoman admiral, geographer, and cartographer. The present manuscript, made mostly in the late 17th century, is based on the later expanded version and has some 240 exquisitely executed maps and portolan charts. They include a world map with the outline of the Americas (folio 41a) and maps of coastlines, with bays ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum