1597 Wytfliet map of Mexico

Hispania Nova. - Main View

1597 Wytfliet map of Mexico


One of the Earliest Specific Maps of Mexico.


Hispania Nova.
  1597 (undated)     9 x 11.25 in (22.86 x 28.575 cm)     1 : 9700000


This is a lovely example of Cornelis Wytfliet's 1597 map of Mexico, one of the first maps of the region overall and the first to appear in an atlas dedicated to the Americas.
A Closer Look
The map depicts Mexico - or rather the portion termed Hispania Nova - spanning from modern-day Sinaloa (Culiacan is marked and named) to the vicinity of Guatemala ('Guatimala'). Acapulco and Tabasco are marked, and the Yucatan is too far east to appear on the map. Among the many cities marked are Guadalajara, Veracruz, and Mexico itself. The Rio Grande appears here as the R. de Palmas, one of its names prior to Oñate's naming of the river in 1598. Wytfliet's source - as with many of the maps of his atlas - was the 1592 Plancius Nova et Exacta Terrarum Orbis Tabula Geographica Ac Hydrographica.
Publication History and Census
The map was engraved in Louvain for inclusion in Cornelis Wytfliet's Descriptionis Ptolemaicae Augmentum, and appeared without change in all editions of that work. The separate map is catalogued in nine institutional collections, although it does appear on the market from time to time.


Cornelius van Wytfliet (1555 - 1597) was a Flemish cartographer and engraver active in the second half of the 16th century. Little unfortunately is known of Wytfliet's life or education. He seems to have been employed as secretary to the Council of Brabant, essentially the supreme court of the Duchy of Brabant. In cartographic circles Wytfliet is best known for his publication in 1597 of Descriptionis Ptolemaicae Augmentum, the first atlas dedicated exclusively to the America's. Wytfliet imaged the atlas as a supplement to classical Ptolemaic geographic, which traditionally accounted only for Europe, Africa, and Asia. The 19 maps contained within the Descriptionis Ptolemaicae Augmentum are some of the earliest specific maps detailed various parts of the Americas. Learn More...


Wytfliet, C. Descriptionis Ptolemaicae Augmentum, (Louvain: Bogardus) 1597.    


Very good.


OCLC 13016035. Rumsey 11622.045. Burden, P., The Mapping of North America, 105.