GOOS, Pieter (1615-1675). Zee Atlas Aquatique. Amsterdam: Jacobus Robyn, 1683.

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Folio (21 6/8 x 14 1/8 inches). 16 pages of text in Dutch including index of 40 charts. EXCEPTIONALLY FINE engraved frontispiece by P. Schenk after G. van Houten with original hand-colour HEIGHTENED IN GOLD, and 43 double-page engraved charts, all with EXCEPTIONAL ORIGINAL HAND-COLOUR IN OUTLINE AND HEIGHTENED IN GOLD THROUGHOUT, THE MAGNIFICENT CARTOUCHES WITH ORIGINAL HAND-COLOUR IN FULL, PROBABLY ALL BY MASTER DUTCH COLOURIST JANS VAN SANTEN AND HIS STUDIO, the ocean with original delicate grey-blue colour wash, including the double-sheet folding map of the coasts of Zeeland and Flanders, mounted on guards throughout. Contemporary Dutch speckled panelled calf, each cover decorated with panels of multiple fillets, large fleurons at each outer corner and a fine central gilt medallion of Atlas holding up an armillary sphere, the spine in eleven compartments with ten raised bands, red morocco lettering-piece in one, the others decorated with fine gilt tools (expertly rebacked preserving the original spine, endpapers renewed with slightly later stock, some guards renewed).



Designed to appeal to the armchair traveller, Goos's prospective clients were "Heeren en Kooplieden" (gentleman and merchants) before "Schippers en Stuurlieden" (pilots and seamen).

Based on Hendrick Doncker's "Zee-Atlas" of 1659, particularly for its charts, and reprinted several times without much revision: 20 editions of this work were published between 1666 and 1683, a testament to its enduring popularity. Jacobus Robyn acquired the plates from Goos's "Zeespiegal" and "Zeeatlas" from his widow in 1680, which he used to enlarge his own atlas. The text includes a short history of the origin and growth of Navigation. Including a very fine world map and ten charts of the Americas. Most charts are undated, but six retain the original date of 1666, and four have dates changed to 1673. The charts of America include the world map, "Paskaert Zynde de Noordelijckste zeekusten van America van Greenland door de Straet Davis en de Straet Hudson tot terra Neuf", "Pascaerte vande Vlaemsche Soute, en Carbesche Eylanden, als mede Terra Nova, en de Custen van Nova Francia, Nova Anglia, Nieu Nederlandt, Venezuela, Nueva Andalusia, Guinan, en een gedeelte, van Brzil", "Pas caerte van Nieu Nederlandt en de Engelsche Virginies...", "Pascaerte van Westindien de Vaste Kusten en de Eylanden", "Pascaerte Vande Carives Eylanden... 1673", "Paskaarte van Het Zuy delijckste van America", "Pascaerte van Nova Hispania Chili, Peru, en Guatimala... 1666", "Paskaerte van Nova Granada en t'Eylandt California...1666", "Pas caerte Vander Zuyd-Zee tussche California...1666", and "Pascaerte van Rio Gambia ... en Brazil" (not listed in the index). The two other maps not listed in the index are "Pascaerte Vande Soute Eylanden oste Ilhas de Cabo Verde" and "de Cust van Barbaria...".

Truusje Goedings, renowned expert in Dutch colourists of the 17th-century writes of this copy:

"This copy has a refined de-luxe contemporary colouring enriched with gold and silver done by one hand, except for the title-page which has been done by another colourist: its colouring is full and rich, with fine use of gold, but more flat, and somewhat less lively and variated than the other leaves. The publisher, Jacob Robijn, who added the new title-page, was known as a map colourist as well. He might have some personal responsability for the colouring though no proof of this was found.
The world map and charts have some specific and relevant characterists in details of their colouring, to which I will confine this description. These details correspond to the colouring of the Goos 'Zee Atlas' copy in Museum Meermanno (Magnus edition) whose colouration by Van Santen is undisputed. I know of one other copy, also a Robijn edition of 1683, which has the same caracteristics (private collection, Gent, Belgium). Probably a model was employed.

More than others Van Santen had a sophisticated colouring, in his choice of colour combinations and the way of applying, both lavishly and restrained . His handling of the brush is in general very straight and self assured, with an extraordinary degree of finesse. His original inventions in small details do not stem from an obliged, academic idea of variation, but from sensitive observation of nature, combined with keen feeling for decorative effects.

A fine, surprising and very characteristic example of this, which corresponded with the Reland copy, I found in the Arader copy. This is the addition of dots to the owls in the centre of the world map (not in the engraving), and also the accentuating of their eyes with gold or red. No other copy except for those mentioned above have this; they follow the approach of the engraving. Further details characteristic for Van Santen's colouring, and only found in the copies mentioned above exactly the same, are the consistent and rather sparing but delicate way the gold is applied on the world map; the complete red colouring of the bird flying under the sun (in other copies always multicoloured); and the curly golden decoration found sometimes in heraldry on maps. I will confine to these few characteristics but there are many more, also of course in the general colouring.

So, the Arader Robijn copy might be ascribed to Van Santen or his studio.

One aspect which favours the last option, is the unusual disbalance in a few places in the colouring of decorations of the charts; they were done too heavy. This is for example the case in the Pascaert of Europe, where the legendum has been done in a thick overall blue. This has been corrected and somewhat cleared up with darker, fine lines. The same can be seen in the Pascaart of OostIndien, where the negroes under the umbrella were made too dark. So, Van Santen corrected this for an assistent - or caused these unusual slight disbalances himself. Also a Van Santen could sometimes have an off-day..." (Truusje Goedings). Cf. Koeman IV, Rob 1; cf. Koeman IV Goos 16, Rob 4. Catalogued by Kate Hunter