Original map engraved on copper in 1581.
Beautiful impression of this rare map in French edition, finely watercolor.
Very good state.
Sheet format: 61.5 x 43.5 cm.
Copper format: 47 x 35.5 cm.
Original antique map of 1581.
Rare edition of Ortelius Abraham with an explanation of the map in Old French on the back. 2 large decorative cartridges, privateer vessels in the Mediterranean.
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Abraham Ortel, better known as Ortelius, was born in Antwerp and, after studying Greek, Latin and mathematics, settled there with his sister, as a bookseller and "map painter". Traveling a lot, especially at major book fairs, his business flourished and he established contacts with scholars in many countries.
A turning point in his career was reached in 1564 with the publication of a map of the world in eight sheets of which only one copy is known: other individual maps will follow, then, at the suggestion of a friend, he gathers a collection of maps which he had engraved in a uniform size, thus forming a set of maps which was published for the first time in 1570 under the name of Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Atlas of the whole world).
Although Lafreri and other Italian cartographers had published “modern” map collections in book form in previous years, the Theatrum was the first systematic collection of maps of uniform size and can therefore be called the first atlas, although this term was not used twenty years later by Mercator.
The Theatrum, with most of its maps elegantly engraved by Frans Hogenberg, was an immediate success and appeared in numerous editions in different languages, including addenda published from time to time incorporating the latest contemporary knowledge and discoveries. The last edition of maps appeared in 1612.
Unlike many of his contemporaries, Ortelius noted his sources of information. In the first edition, eighty-seven cartographers were thanked.
Besides the modern maps of his main atlas, Ortelius himself compiled a series of historical maps known as the Parergon Theatri, which appeared from 1579, sometimes as a separate publication and sometimes incorporated into the Theatrum.