Liguria, ò Stato della Republica di Genova
1646 (undated) 16 x 22 in (40.64 x 55.88 cm)
This gorgeous 1646 Willaem Janszoon Blaeu map depicts the Mediterranean coast of France and Italy, or as it was known then Liguria or the Republic of Genova. It stretches from Nice (Nizza) to Genoa (Genoua) and the Cinque Terre. There is a large, decorative cartouche with a large allegorical representation of Genoa. There is a second decorative cartouche with a dedication to D. Petro Hasselaer to the right. The sea is filled with sailing ships, possibly representing the formidable size and strength of the Genovese navy. The coat of arms of the Republic of Genoa appears at the upper-left. The Republic of Genoa was an independent state from 1005 to 1797, when it was fell to the armies of Napoleon Bonaparte. Today, the Cinque Terre, five fishing villages along the coast, are a world heritage site and are world famous, bringing tourists from every part of the world to the Ligurian coast.
This map was issued for the 1646 Latin edition of Willaem Janszoon Blaeu's iconic Atlas Mayor.
Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571 - October 18, 1638), also known as Guillaume Blaeu, was a Dutch cartographer, globemaker, and astronomer active in Amsterdam during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Blaeu was born in Alkmaar, North Holland to a prosperous herring packing and trading family of Dutch Reformist faith. As a young man, he was sent to Amsterdam to apprentice in the family business, but he found the herring trade dull and instead worked for his cousin 'Hooft' as a carpenter and clerk. In 1595, he traveled to the small Swedish island of Hven to study astronomy under the Danish Enlightenment polymath Tycho Brahe. For six months he studied astronomy, cartography, instrument making, globe making, and geodesy. He returned to Alkmaar in 1596 to marry and for the birth of his first son, Johannes (Joan) Blaeu (1596 – 1673). Shortly thereafter, in 1598 or 1599, he relocated his family to Amsterdam where he founded the Blaeu firm as globe and instrument makers. Around this time, he also began issuing separate issue nautical charts and wall maps – which as we see from Vermeer's paintings were popular with Dutch merchants as decorative items – and invented the Dutch Printing Press. As a non-Calvinist Blaeu was a persona non grata to the ruling elite and so he partnered with Hessel Gerritsz to develop his business. In 1619, Blaeu arranged for Gerritsz to be appointed official cartographer to the VOC, an extremely lucrative position that that, in the slightly more liberal environment of the 1630s, he managed to see passed to his eldest son, Johannes. In 1633, he was also appointed official cartographer of the Dutch Republic. Blaeu's most significant work is his 1635 publication of the Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive, Atlas Novus, one of the greatest atlases of all time. He died three years later, in 1638, passing the Blaeu firm on to his two sons, Cornelius (1616 - 1648) and Johannes Blaeu (September 23, 1596 - December 21, 1673). Under his sons, the firm continued to prosper until the 1672 Great Fire of Amsterdam destroyed their offices and most of their printing plates. Willem's most enduring legacy was most likely the VOC contract, which ultimately passed to Johannes' son, Johannes II, who held the position until 1617. As a hobbyist astronomer, Blaeu discovered the star now known as P. Cygni.
Blaeu, W., Atlas Major, (Amsterdam) Latin Edition, 1646.
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. Latin text on verso. Very minor archival repair to outer margin. Margins are extremely large, often several inches. Does not effect printed image.
OCLC 551940450. Van der Krogt, P., Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, 7080:1B. Blaeu, Joan, Atlas Maior>, Taschen.