Fezzae et Marocchi Regna Africae Celeberrima.
1675 (undated) 15.5 x 20.5 in (39.37 x 52.07 cm)
1 : 1500000
This is a beautiful 1675 map of Morocco on the Barbary Coast of northern Africa by Johannes Blaeu. Oriented with north on the right, the map covers Morocco and the Kingdom of Fez from the Atlas Mountains north to the coast of Spain. The Strait of Gibraltar is also included. The map renders the entire region in extraordinary detail offering both topographical and political information with mountains and forests beautifully rendered in profile. The fortified towns of Marrakesh (Marruecos), Fez and Taradande are also identified. The map is based on the 1570 map by Abraham Ortelius, who is credited here in the title.
While most of the Barbary coast fell under the Ottoman rule during this period, portions of this region were under the influence of the Spanish from 1580 to 1640, with Tangiere briefly under British rule between 1662 and 1684. In spite of being a hotbed of piracy, this region managed to trade sugar, tobacco, gold and fine leather with France and England.
A highly elaborate title cartouche adorns the lower left quadrant of the map. Beautifully illustrated ships are seen sailing in the North Atlantic Ocean. This map is based on the 1570 map by Ortelius and issued by Blaeu in 1675.
Johannes Blaeu (September 23, 1596 - December 21, 1673), also known as Joan Blaeu, was a Dutch cartographer active in the 17th century. Johannes was the son of Willem Janszoon Blaeu, founding of the Blaeu firm. Like his father Willem, Johannes was born in Alkmaar, North Holland. He studied Law, attaining a doctorate, before moving to Amsterdam to join the family mapmaking business. In 1633, Willem arranged for Johannes to take over Hessel Gerritsz's position as the official chartmaker of the Dutch East India Company, although little is known of his work for that organization, which was by contract and oath secretive. What is known is his work supplying the fabulously wealthy VOC with charts was exceedingly profitable. Where other cartographers often fell into financial ruin, the Blaeu firm thrived. It was most likely those profits that allowed the firm to publish the Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive, Atlas Novus, their most significant and best-known publication. When Willem Blaeu died in 1638, Johannes, along with his brother Cornelius Blaeu (1616 - 1648) took over the management of the Blaeu firm. They vastly expanded and updated the Atlas Novus to a remarkable 12 volumes. Under the brothers' capable management, the firm continued to prosper until the 1672 Great Amsterdam Fire destroyed their offices and most of their printing plates. Johannes Blaeu, witnessing the destruction of his life's work, died in despondence the following year. He is buried in the Dutch Reformist cemetery of Westerkerk. Johannes Blaeu was survived by his son, also Johannes but commonly called Joan II, who inherited the family's VOC contract, for whom he compiled maps until 1712.
Abraham Ortelius (1527 - 1598) was one of the most important figures in the history of cartography and is most famously credited with the compilation of the seminal 1570 atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, generally considered to be the world's first modern atlas. Ortelius was born in Antwerp and began his cartographic career in 1547 as a typesetter for the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke. In this role Ortelius traveled extensively through Europe where he came into contact with Mercator, under whose influence, he marketed himself as a "scientific geographer". In this course of his long career he published numerous important maps as well as issued several updated editions of his cardinal work, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Late in his career Ortelius was appointed Royal Cartographer to King Phillip II of Spain. On his death in July fourth, 1598, Ortelius' body was buried in St Michael's Præmonstratensian Abbey , Antwerp, where his tombstone reads, Quietis cultor sine lite, uxore, prole.
Blaeu, G., Atlas Major, 1675.
The Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, sive, Atlas Novus, also published as the Atlas Major was first issued by Willem Jansz Blaeu and his son Joan Blaeu in 1635. The first edition contained about 207 seminal maps that ushered in a new golden age of Dutch cartography and established the distinctive flourishing highly decorative baroque Blaeu style. Most of the maps in this edition were closely based upon the earlier well established work of Jodocus Hondius, whose' map plates he had earlier acquired. The atlas continued to be published and republished in expanded and revised editions, reflecting the most up to date cartographic conventions and data derived from Dutch navigators and merchants then plying their trade throughout the world. Willem Blaeu died in 1638 and his son, Joan (Johannes), called teh Altas Major took over subsequent publications of the atlas. The final edition of the atlas, published from 1662 to 1672, consisted some 594 maps compiled into upwards of 9 volumes with some editions containing as many as 12 volumes. In 1672 a tragic fire destroyed the sprawling Blaeu workshop, then the largest cartographic publishing house in the world. Countless map plates were lost and the following the fire the Blaeu firm ceased production.
Very good. Minor wear and verso reinforcement along original centerfold and edges. Some foxing and creasing at places.
Van der Krogt, P. C. J., Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, [8615:1B], 1.406.