Author: Ortelius, Abraham
Publisher: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum
Date published: 1590-91Copper engraving ; overall size: 56.2cms x 44.5cms; 448mm x 338mm. Blank verso. 5.cms archival strengthening at bottom of centrefold on verso and small repaired nick at margin's edge ; odd mark to margins else very good condition. Van den Broecke Ortelius Atlas Maps 172. Due to the blank back it could be that Bertius bought a number of sheets of this map and included it in his historical 1619 atlas (van den Broecke). Abraham Ortelius (1527 - 1598) Abraham Ortelius is one of the most important figures in the history of cartography. He was born and educated in Antwerp and after studying mathematics and the classics he began work as a bookdealer and colourist of maps. His business as a book dealer required him to travel to various parts of Europe and he was thus able to establish numerous contacts that would prove useful in later years. In the 1560s he published individual maps as well as an eight-sheet map of the world. He went on to compile a collection of maps from his numerous contacts among European map-makers. These he had engraved, mainly by Frans Hogenberg, to a uniform size and bound to form a book which he published in 1570 as the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. This was in effect the first 'atlas' although this term wouldn't be used until twenty years later by Ortelius's colleague Mercator. One unique aspect of the atlas was that on the reverse of the maps was printed a description of the area. Another unusual aspect of the book was that Ortelius listed his sources and credited the various cartographers. The first edition contained 70 maps with text and was a great success. Numerous editions followed with revisions being made as new and more accurate information was found and the final edition was published in 1612.
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