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Franzino. Carta Reduzida do Golfo Adriatico. Lisbon, 1799.

Franzino. Carta Reduzida do Golfo Adriatico. Lisbon, 1799.

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Major Marino Miguel Franzino

Carta Reduzida do Golfo Adriatico dedicada a S.A.R. Principe Regente N.S. por Marino Miguel Franzini Primro Tenente da Armada Real

Lisbon, c. 1799

Manuscript chart on paper. Sheet size: 20 7/8 x 52 inches.

This original manuscript chart of the Adriatic Sea is a fine work by one of the foremost Portuguese cartographers of the nineteenth century. The map comprises the eastern coast of Italy, the Gulf of Venice and the Adriatic coast south to Corfu. It shows the coastlines in great detail, noting ports, harbors, shoals and rocks, with soundings on the Italian coasts, naming the principal bays and capes. It is flawlessly drafted in a meticulous and intricate calligraphic style that is highly suited to the representation of hydrographical information. This is a superb example of the "scientific school" of cartography that arose in the European Enlightenment: spare and elegant, its aesthetic quality comes from its restraint and precision, while all overtly decorative flourishes are absent.

Marino Miguel Franzini was the son of a noted Italian mathematician Miguel Franzini, tutor to thee future king of Portugal Joao VI and professor at the venerable University of Coimbra. His son, Marino Miguel Franzini, began his career in the Portuguese Navy, which was disbanded by the French general Jean-Andoche Junot shortly after his successful (if short-lived) invasion of Portugal in 1807. Franzini then held a position as major in the Corps of Engineers before being enlisted into the Legiao Portuguesa by Junot. In 1811, he published his map of the Portuguese coast "Carta geral que comprehende os planos das Prinicipaes Barras de Portugal", which was followed by statistical, cartographic and scientific works, including his meteorological observations, which were the first ot be made in Portugal. In later life, Franzini held political, military and legal positions, among them Director of the Military Archive, Minister of State, and member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Lisbon.

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