Havana on the Island of Cuba


Joan Vinckeboons (1617–70) was a Dutch cartographer and engraver born into a family of artists of Flemish origin. He was employed by the Dutch West India Company and for more than 30 years produced maps for use by Dutch mercantile and military shipping. He was a business partner of Joan Blaeu, one of the most important map and atlas publishers of the day. Vinckeboons drew a series of 200 manuscript maps that were used in the production of atlases, including Blaeu’s Atlas Maior. This pen-and-ink and watercolor map from around 1639 shows a panoramic view of Havana harbor and vicinity. The map emphasizes the strong fortifications protecting the city, and shows city buildings, ships, the harbor, and the nearby countryside, with geographically inaccurate peaks looming over the harbor. Relief is shown pictorially and by gradient tints. The map was once part of a manuscript atlas belonging to the Dutch firm of Gerard Hulst van Keulen, which published sea atlases and navigational handbooks for over two centuries. With the demise of the firm, the atlas was acquired and broken up by the Amsterdam book dealer Frederik Muller, who in 1887 sold 13 maps from the atlas attributed to Vinckeboons to the collector and bibliographer Henry Harrisse. This map is part of the Henry Harrisse Collection in the Library of Congress.

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Havana op 't Eyland Cvba

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 manuscript : color, paper backing ; 41 x 54 centimeters


  • Scale not given.

Last updated: June 17, 2015