Le Monde Aquatique

The images below are hand-colored details from two lavishly illustrated atlases of the world’s oceans produced by the workshops of Pieter Goos (d. 1670) and Johannes van Keulen (1654-1715).  Goos’ L’Atlas de la Mer, ou Monde Aquaticque (“Atlas of the Sea, or the Watery World”) the title page of which is visible at left, was published in Amsterdam in 1670. […]

Mapping Nature in the ‘Age of Discovery’ Pt. I

In that part of Africa, which lies under the Torrid Zone, there are Countries extremely fertile… and ‘tis the same as to what lies under it in America, so far as is yet known. – John Senex, New General Atlas, 1720. Sorry about the long delay (occasioned by computer troubles and the Thanksgiving break). Today […]

Early Chinese World Maps

 I recently came across this fascinating world map while researching the history of the Jesuit missions in seventeenth century China. Apparently developed by the Italian Jesuit Giulio Aleni while he was working as a missionary in 1620s China, the map strikes me as being remarkably advanced for its time.  Witness, for instance, the fact that […]

Image of the Week 5: The Restitution of Bahia, 1631

This remarkable map was produced by the cartographer João Teixera Albernaz the Elder (d. 1662) as part of his 1631 atlas Estado da Brasil (The State of Brazil). Lavishly illustrated in watercolors, the map meticulously depicts the recapture of the city of Salvador — the old colonial capital of Brazil — from an invading Dutch […]