1642 Gerritsz and Blaeu City Map or Plan of the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia

КРЕМЛЁН ГРАД. / Kremlenagrad, Castellum Urbis Moskvæ. - Main View

1642 Gerritsz and Blaeu City Map or Plan of the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia


The most beautiful example of Blaeu's map of the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia.


КРЕМЛЁН ГРАД. / Kremlenagrad, Castellum Urbis Moskvæ.
  1642 (undated)     15.25 x 20 in (38.735 x 50.8 cm)     1 : 2400


This is a 1642 Hessel Gerritsz map of the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Looking toward the southwest, the map depicts the fortress from the Moscow River to the Neglinnaya River and from the confluence of the Neglinnaya River and the Moscow River to just outside the northwest wall of the Kremlin, what is today Red Square. The Moscow Kremlin is the most well-known of the Russian kremlins. A 'kremlin' is a 'fortress within a city'. Gerritsz illustrates individual buildings both inside and outside the Kremlin walls and numerically identifies thirty-two different locations within the Kremlin. The numbers correspond with an index situated along the right border. Bridges, buildings, and gates in the walls are among the identified locations. Boats and barges are illustrated ferrying goods on the Moscow River.

It is commonly believed that this map was not published in a Blaeu atlas until 1662, though earlier editions of Gerritz's Kremlenagrad map are known to have been published in Braun and Hogenburg's Civitates orbis terrarium. When we obtained the present example, the seller claimed that it was extracted from a 1642 Dutch edition of Blaeu's atlas, which would be an edition of Blaeu's Tooneel des Aerdrycks. Through our research, we have concluded that it is undeterminable exactly from which atlas this example was extracted; it could have been printed in a 1642 edition of Blaeu's Tooneel des Aerdrycks or in a 1662 edition of Blaeu's Atlas Maior. As a side note, this is the most beautiful example of this map we have seen to date or could imagine and, for the discriminating collector, this is the one to buy.


Hessel Gerritsz (1581 – September 4, 1632) was a Dutch engraver, cartographer, and publisher active in Amsterdam during the late 16th and early 17th centuries, among the most preeminent Dutch geographers of the 17th century. He was born in Assum, a town in northern Holland in 1581. As a young man he relocated to Alkmaar to accept an apprenticeship with Willem Jansz Blaeu (1571-1638). He followed Blaeu to Amsterdam shortly afterwards. By 1610 he has his own press, but remained close to Blaeu, who published many of his maps. In October of 1617 he was appointed the first official cartographer of the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (Dutch East Indian Company) or VOC. This strategic position offered him unprecedented access to the most advanced and far-reaching cartographic data of the Dutch Golden Age. Unlike many cartographers of his period, Gerritsz was more than a simple scholar and showed a true fascination with the world and eagerness to learn more of the world he was mapping in a practical manner. In 1628 he joined a voyage to the New World which resulted in the production of his seminal maps, published by Joannes de Laet in his 1630 Beschrijvinghe van West-Indien; these would be aggressively copied by both the Blaeu and Hondius houses, and long represented the standard followed in the mapping of the new world. Among his other prominent works are a world map of 1612, a 1613 map of Russia by the brilliant Russian prince Fyodor II Borisovich Godunov (1589 – 1605), a 1618 map of the pacific that includes the first mapping of Australia, and an influential 1630 map of Florida. Gerritsz died in 1632. His position with the VOC, along with many of his printing plates, were taken over by Willem Janszoon Blaeu. Learn More...

Joan (Johannes) Blaeu (September 23, 1596 - December 21, 1673) was a Dutch cartographer active in the 17th century. Joan was the son of Willem Janszoon Blaeu, founder 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. In 1662, Joan and Cornelius produced a vastly expanded and updated work, the Atlas Maior, whose handful of editions ranged from 9 to an astonishing 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. Learn More...


Very good. Even overall toning. Large margins. Blank on verso.


OCLC 828323034.