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1716 Homann Map of Southern Italy

Novissima et exactissima Totius Regni Neapolis. - Main View

1716 Homann Map of Southern Italy


Bears an illustration of Mount Vesuvius spewing smoke.


Novissima et exactissima Totius Regni Neapolis.
  1716 (undated)     22.75 x 19.75 in (57.785 x 50.165 cm)     1 : 1100000


This is a 1716 Johann Baptist Homann map of southern Italy. The map depicts the region from Terracina to the Adriatic Sea and from the Adriatic Sea to Sicily. Meticulously detailed, Italy is divided into different regions and political entities that existed during this era in Italian history, some of which are comparable to regions in modern-day Italy. Myriad cities, towns, and villages are labeled, including Naples, Capua, Salerno, and Messina. An illustration of Mount Vesuvius (complete with smoke rising from the summit) looms not far from Naples and rivers snake their way across Italy in every conceivable direction. A very decorative title cartouche is situated in the upper right corner, featuring illustrations of cherubs, a queen, and a knight of the Holy Roman Empire flying on a winged horse. The queen appears to be hiding from the knight, while a large fish regurgitates sea water at the cherubs.

This map was created and published by Johann Baptist Homann in 1716.


Johann Baptist Homann (March 20, 1664 - July 1, 1724) was the most prominent and prolific map publisher of the 18th century. Homann was born in Oberkammlach, a small town near Kammlach, Bavaria, Germany. As a young man Homann studied in a Jesuit school and nursed ambitions of becoming a Dominican priest before converting to Protestantism in 1687. Following his conversion, Homann moved to Nuremberg and found employment as a notary. Around 1693, Homann briefly relocated to Vienna, where he lived and studied printing and copper plate engraving until 1695. Afterwards he returned to Nuremberg where, in 1702, he founded the commercial publishing firm that would bear his name. In the next five years Homann produced hundreds of maps and developed a distinctive style characterized by heavy detailed engraving, elaborate allegorical cartouche work, and vivid hand color. The Homann firm, due to the lower cost of printing in Germany, was able to undercut the dominant French and Dutch publishing houses while matching the diversity and quality of their output. By 1715 Homann's rising star caught the attention of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, who appointed him Imperial Cartographer. In the same year he was also appointed a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Berlin. Homann's prestigious title came with a number of important advantages including access to the most up to date cartographic information as well as the 'Privilege'. The Privilege was a type of early copyright offered to very few by the Holy Roman Emperor. Though not as sophisticated as modern copyright legislation, the Privilege did offer a kind of limited protection for several years. Most all J. B. Homann maps printed between 1715 and 1730 bear the inscription 'Cum Priviligio' or some variation. Following Homann's death in 1724, the management of the firm passed to his son, Johann Christoph Homann (1703 - 1730). J. C. Homann, perhaps realizing that he would not long survive his father, stipulated in his will that the company would be inherited by his two head managers, Johann Georg Ebersberger (1695 - 1760) and Johann Michael Franz (1700 - 1761), and that it would publish only under the name 'Homann Heirs'. This designation, in various forms (Homannsche Heirs, Heritiers de Homann, Lat Homannianos Herod, Homannschen Erben, etc..) appears on maps from about 1731 onwards. The firm continued to publish maps in ever diminishing quantities until the death of its last owner, Christoph Franz Fembo (1781 - 1848). More by this mapmaker...


Very good. Even overall toning. Wear along original centerfold. Verso repair to centerfold separation. Closed margin tears professionally repaired on verso. Blank on verso.


Rumsey 12499.089.