1688 Rosaccio / Moretti Woodcut Map of Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region

[Untitled map of Eastern Europe]. - Main View

1688 Rosaccio / Moretti Woodcut Map of Eastern Europe and the Black Sea Region


Scarce Miniature Black Sea and Lithuania.


[Untitled map of Eastern Europe].
  1688 (undated)     5 x 6.75 in (12.7 x 17.145 cm)


This attractive woodcut map of Lithuania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Russia, and the Black Sea was executed by Giuseppe Moretti for inclusion in the 1688 edition of Giuseppe Rosaccio's Teatro del Mondo. It is an entertaining composition, embellished with tents indicating Muscovy and Tatary, menacing Lithuania from above the Black Sea. The production of a woodcut map in this period is itself unusual, especially coming from Italy. Venetian and Roman mapmakers had been working on copperplate well before that technology had passed to Antwerp and Amsterdam.
A Closer Look
The map focuses on Eastern Europe - from Serbia in the west to include the Sea of Azov in the east, and reaching as far north as Lithuania, Livonia and Muscovy. Mountains, forests, and cities are indicated pictorially. Muscovy and Tatary are indicated with the tents of the steppe nomads. Though Moretti's woodcut was executed in 1688, it is based on the map appearing in editions of Rosaccio as early as 1594. Unlike most of the Rosaccio maps, this is not a reduction of any specific map, but the placenames appear to be derived from various maps produced by Gastaldi in the mid 16th century. This final 1688 edition of the map is notable for being cut to a single block rather than two separate blocks.
Publication History and Census
This map was produced by Giuseppe Moretti for the 1688 Antonio Pisarri edition of Rosaccio's Teatro del Mondo. Both this book, and separate maps from it, are scarce. We see no examples of the map in OCLC, and seven examples of the 1688 book. A 1724 edition exists, apparently using the same blocks; only five of these are listed in institutional collections and no separate maps.


Giuseppe Rosaccio (approx. 1530 - 1620) was a Venetian physician, astrologer, and geographer. He was born in the Venetian city of Pordenone, and graduated from the University of Padua having studied philosophy, medicine and law. He moved to seek his fortune in Tricesimo, where he worked as a physician and may have taught literature. His legal education led him to serve as a judge there in civil trials during the period between 1561 and 1575. 1607 found him in Florence in the service of Grand Duke Cosimo II (patron of Galileo). Rosaccio married, and had at least two children: Leonardo - who died on April 30, 1603 - and Luigi (also rendered as Alouisio), who collaborated with his father in his geographical work.

He was a prolific author, producing as many as forty works disseminating new knowledge (to a lay audience, using the Italian vernacular). These were mostly on the topics of astronomy and his primary interest, geography. He ventured afield on an array of subjects, including essays on Islam. He remains best known for his geographical texts, which were popular and republished in multiple editions. These included a 1598 edition of Ptolemy, a 1607 geography of Italy, and his final work - the 1610 Discorso nel quale si tratta brevemente della nobiltà, et eccellenza della Terra rispetto à Cieli, et altri elementi, was dedicated to Cosimo II and contained novel information on the American continent, including Drake and Cavendish' circumnavigations. This work included a map drawn by his son Alouisio. More by this mapmaker...

Giocomo Gastaldi (c. 1500 - October, 1566) was an Italian astronomer, cartographer, and engineer active in the second half of the 16th century. Gastaldi (sometimes referred to as Jacopo or Iacobo) began his career as an engineer, serving the Venetian Republic in that capacity until the fourth decade of the sixteenth century. During this time he traveled extensively, building a large library relating to voyages and exploration. From about 1544 he turned his attention to mapmaking, working extensively with Giovanni Battista Ramusio, Nicolo Bascarini, and Giovanbattista Pedrezano, as well ask taking private commission for, among others, Venice's Council of Ten. He is credited with the fresco maps of Asia and Africa still extent in the map room of the Doge's Palace. Gastaldi was also one of the first cartographers to embrace copper plate over woodblock engraving, marking and important development in the history of cartography. His 1548 edition of Ptolemy's Geographia was the first to be printed in a vernacular; it was the first to be printed in copperplate. As with his Swiss/German contemporary Münster, Gastaldi;'s work contained many maps depicting newly discovered regions for the first time, including the first map to focus on the East Coast of North America, and the first modern map of the Indian Peninsula. His works provided the source for the vast majority of the Venetian and Roman map publishers of the 1560s and 70s, and would continue to provide an outsize influence on the early maps of Ortelius, De Jode, and Mercator. Learn More...


Rosaccio, G., Teatro del mondo, (Bologna: Pisarri) 1688.    


Good. Right margin extended with thread holes in border filled. Else very good.