Tavola, & discrizzione universale di tutta l’Africa, distesa anche piu la che i termini di Tolomeo
Date: Basel,Petri,1558
Cod 3242
Matter: geography
1.600,00 €
Woodcut, mm 252x340 (sheet mm 310x380), hand-painted. Taken from the rare Italian edition of the Geographia Universalis, published in 1558 Second state of the first map of the entire African continent and a true masterpiece of Renaissance cartography. Some browning and slight marginal soiling, professional restoration to the central fold at the bottom. This very important map represents the first reasonably obtainable map depicting the entire African continent, a fantastic visual synergy of archaic imagination and recent exploration. The overall shape of the continent is fairly well defined, having been extensively explored by the Portuguese since the time of Prince Henry the Navigator in the mid-15th century, as evidenced by the appearance of a caravel at the bottom of the map. The various African kingdoms are indicated by the pictorial symbols of the crown and sceptre. According to Ptolemaic tradition, the Nile has its source in a series of lakes at the foot of the mysterious Moon Mountains. The land around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa is graced by the appearance of an elephant, while exotic parrots occupy the trees in Angola. Most amusingly, near the East African coast, the 'Monoculi', or one-eyed man imagined by classical writers, sits waiting for a hypothetical European visitor. Münster was a brilliant polymath and one of the most important intellectuals of the Renaissance era. Educated in Tübingen, his surviving university notebooks, the Kollegienbuch, reveal a mind of insatiable curiosity, especially in cosmography. Later, Münster became professor of Hebrew in Heidelberg and then, from 1529, at the University of Basel. In the 1530s, he devoted himself to the translation of Ptolemy's Geography, adding new material concerning the new lands discovered in Africa, the Americas and Asia. The result was the publication of his highly regarded Geographia Universalis, first printed in 1540. He was also an innovator in the design and layout of maps, and was one of the first to create a space on his wooden blocks for the insertion of place names in metal characters. Norwich, Maps of Africa, 2; Tooley, The Printed Maps of the Whole of the Continent of Africa, Part 1 (1500-1600), 6.



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