Ortelius, Abraham (1527-1598), Typus Orbis Terrarum.
Ortelius, Abraham (1527-1598)
Typus Orbis Terrarum.
Single-sheet map(15 1/4” x 20 1/2”)
from Ortelius’ THEATRUM ORBIS TERRARUM.
Finely engraved WORLD MAP with Latin text on verso. Delicately HAND COLORED; excellent condition with plate markand wide margins. Printed with the Privilege. As the atlas’ first plate Typus Orbis Terrarum wasengraved by Frans Hogenberg (“Franciscus Hogenbergus Sculpsit”) and it emulates Mercator’s21-sheet map from 1569. “From surviving correspondence it is known that Mercator generously encouraged Ortelius to make use of his published corpus of research; he also provided him with co-ordinates of places in America and perhaps elsewhere. South America retains the unusual bulged south-west coast drawn by Mercator. There is also a prudent comment adjacent to New Guinea querying whether this large island is part of the southern continent or not.” (Shirley 1983). The amorphous landmass of Terra Australis reflects the Antique belief in a hypothetical landmass balancing the southern hemisphere; it is found as early as the 5th century in maps by Macrobius a.o. The plate was damaged between 1575 and 1579, displaying a crack in the lower left corner that was subsequently blended with the clouds. The present map is a particularly well preserved example of the FIRST STATE. The importance of Abraham Ortelius in the history of cartography is superlative. Starting his career as a colorist, he became not only the wealthiest citizen of Antwerp and Royal Geographer to the King of Spain; his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum also established Ortelius as the creator of the first modern atlas and heir to Ptolemy whom he references in the frequent display of his classical education. The first edition contains 70 maps that Ortelius is believed to have drafted from source material listed in an extensive Catalogus Auctorum. Their scope extends beyond the scientific interest of his contemporaries and with additions like the Parergon the atlas cemented its status as a revolutionary publication. It dominated the Golden Age and set the editorial and aesthetic standards for anyone working in the Dutch tradition of atlas making.Shirley, Rodney: “The Mapping of the World: Early Printed World Maps 1472-1700”, London 1983.