1003 Ortelius, Abraham: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum 1574

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Ortelius, Abraham
dat. 1574

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Ortelius, Abraham
dat. 1574
Copperplate engraving
40,5 x 28 (folio) cm

Ortelius’ monumental work ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’ is commonly regarded as the first modern atlas. The ‘Theatrum’ is generally considered as a milestone in the history of cartography. The title page is of an allegorical nature. Seated at the top we see a female figure representing Europe, superior to all other figures. She wears the imperial crown, and carries a sceptre in her right hand and a rudder in the form of a cross in her left hand. Asia is portrayed to the left, holding a container of incense in her left hand and wearing a gown beset with precious stones. To the right we see Africa, scantily clad and holding a palm branch in her hand. In foreground, on the left hand side, America can also be found, forming perhaps the most interesting fifigure of this title page. She depicted to be naked and holds a cudgel in her right hand and a male human head in her left hand. Her weapons consist of a bow and arrows. Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci reported on how bows and arrows were used as weapons in America, as did Hans Staden, a German from Homburg, who was held captive in Brazil for nine months. In 1554 he returned to Europe and he published a book about his adventures, which were later translated into Dutch and French and printed by Plantin. REFERENCE Van den Broecke 1996, pp 23; 57; 79.


Ortelius, Abraham
dat. 1574
40,5 x 28 (folio) cm

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SKU 1003
delivery time 3-4 Tage

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