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1970 Agostini Pictorial Map of Italy

Italia. - Main View

1970 Agostini Pictorial Map of Italy


Italia Viva.


  1970 (undated)     31 x 25 in (78.74 x 63.5 cm)     1 : 2000000


A vibrant c. 1970 pictorial map of Italy produced in the postwar period, drawn by Vsevolode Nicouline and published by Giovanni De Agostini. Its intricate drawings bring to life Italian culture, economy, and history.
A Closer Look
Taking in the Italian Peninsula plus adjoining islands (Sicily, Sardinia, etc.) and portions of neighboring countries, this richly illustrated pictorial map highlights regional characteristics and history. The administrative regions (Regioni) of Italy are shaded for easy distinction. Within the regions, local products, landmarks, and leisure activities are represented, along with references to historical dates, including battles during the Risorgimento and World War I (1914 - 1818). Historical figures also make an appearance, including Thomas Aquinas and the polymath Roger Joseph Boscovich, the latter being one of several symbols and allusions to the Jesuits. These motifs extend to the seas, where ships of various sizes and historical eras appear, along with ornate text in the style of early modern engraved maps.
Publication History and Census
Giovanni de Agostini is noted as the cartographer of this map, with Arti Grafiche Ricordi as printer, and Edizione Beatrice d'Este as publisher. It is in the style of maps drawn by Vsevolode Nicouline and published by Giovanni de Agostini in the late 1930s and early 1940s, with some features (such as the compass rose and illustration of Poseidon) matching exactly with smaller-scale maps from the work Italia Viva published in 1941. After the Second World War, the 'Italia' map from Italia Viva was modified and printed in a larger format, with known printings from c. 1946, 1960, and 1978. The present example most closely resembles the 1978 printing (recognizable for the inclusion of the region of Molise, formed in 1963, and changes to the title cartouche), but Edizione Beatrice d'Este, about whom little information is available, appears to have been most active in the 1950s and 1960s. We are unaware of any institutional holdings of this printing of the map, though the cataloging of the map is somewhat unreliable given the long history and multiple printings of the work (most of which lack dates).


Giovanni De Agostini (August 23, 1863 - November 21, 1941) was an Italian cartographer and publisher. In 1901, he founded the Istituto Geografico Italiano del dott. G. De Agostini and C. in Rome. In addition to school atlases, the group published the Calendario Atlante de Agostini, a compact yearbook, calendar, and atlas, which was highly successful. After his death, the institute and publishing house he had founded continued to use his name. His younger brother, Alberto Maria de Agostini (1883 - 1960) was a Salesian priest and polymath who lived most of his life in Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia, contributing greatly to the geographic and ethnographic knowledge of the region. More by this mapmaker...

Vsevolode Nicouline (Vsevolod Petrovič Nikulin, Всеволод Петрович Нікулін; November 27, 1890 - July 18, 1968) was a Russian-born Italian artist, illustrator, and set designer. Born in Mykolaiv, Russian Empire (now Ukraine) to an Orthodox priest, he attended the Odessa Art College (now the Grekov Odessa Art School), where he studied with Italian sculptors Luigi Iorini and Giuseppe Mormone, before enrolling at the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1917. The Russian Revolution derailed Nicouline's studies, and he became an officer in the White Russian forces. As the Bolsheviks gained the upper hand, he fled to Constantinople and then to Genoa. Soon afterwards, he began to publish woodcuts that were heavily inspired by Japanese woodblock printing and took on Japanese themes (such as samurai and Japanese folk tales). He then moved on to watercolors and then towards illustrations, focusing on mythologies of various cultures. Later in his career, his illustrations appeared in popular formats, such as fiction, magazines, and children's literature. Learn More...

Arti Grafiche Ricordi (c. 1957 - 2002) was a printer based in Milan that specialized in posters and prints, particularly those with an educational value. The firm published works in a range of languages aside from Italian, particularly English and French. In 1994, it was renamed if not entirely recreated as Nuova Arti Grafiche Ricordi. Learn More...


Very good.