New and Detailed Sketch of the Arctic Lands, by Andreas Boreus, the Swede


Andreas Bureus (1571–1646) is known as the father of Swedish cartography. He embarked upon a career in the Royal Chancellery in 1602 and was entrusted with several important missions in the service of the state. In 1628 he was assigned the task of founding what was to become the Swedish National Land Survey. In 1624 he was made a member of the Swedish nobility with the name Anders Bure. Bureus completed this map of the Nordic countries in 1626 after several years of collecting data. It was printed on a scale of 1:2,000,000 on six sheets that could be assembled as a wall map measuring 113 by 128 centimeters. The projection is conic and Ilha do Corvo in the Azores serves as the prime meridian. Bureus annotated the map with topographical and ethnographical data in Latin. The magnificent cartouche portrays King Gustav II Adolf (1594–1632) and Queen Maria Eleonora (1599–1655), surrounded by the coats of arms of the Swedish provinces. Three female figures at the top symbolize war, wisdom, and courage. A circular space was left vacant for the yet-to-be-born heir or heiress to the throne. The map is a testament to the imperial greatness of the Swedish Empire and was intended to be circulated among the prominent European courts. It was published in many editions, including in several contemporary atlases.

Last updated: February 3, 2015