MAPS WITH DECORATIVE BORDERS: the cartes-à-figures. A unique posting just to enjoy!
In the early 17th century maps became more baroque: embellishments on the edges or small insets along the sides had to attract a new clientele. Indeed, the rich bourgeoisie of the Low Countries was a demanding audience. In general vertical bands were provided with people (in many cases a couple) in local dress. Top and bottom of the maps often got small views of the most relevant cities of the region mapped.
It was in fact Ortelius who decorated his 1579 map on the Travels by Paulus with two illustrations: the conversion of Saul and the shipwreck in Malta (see1final map). In 1590 he produced a map with full bordering on the life of Abraham. It will be Jodocus Hondius (or Joost de Hondt from Gent) who fully developed this trend; first for his miniature atlases (1590-1591). It is noteworthy that this cartographic expression was mainly practiced between 1600 and 1630 and logically mainly occurred in the main Amsterdam cartographers (Hondius, Kaerius, Willem Blaeu and Claes Jansz Visscher). Because of their artistic character several paintings include figure edges in several paintings: for example Cornelus de Man, Jan Miense Molenaer and even Dirck Hals (he younger brother of the famous painter Frans Hals, both born in Flanders) made several paintings wit famous cartes-à-figures.
It is interesting to note which city illustrations have (or not! ) been included, but we will come back to this point.
No further words, time to enjoy this selection:
1 XVII Provinces, J. Speed
2 Denmark, J. Janssonius
3 Spain, C.J. Visscher
4 The Americas, J. Blaeu
5 North Germany, C.J. Visscher
6 Europe, W. & J. Blaeu
7 France, J. Janssonius
8 Tartary, J. Speed
9 Paulus, A. Ortelius (see both insets, as mentioned above)
We have recently posted some cartes-à-figures:
- on 6/8: Peloponnese;
- on 7/9: Marquisate of Antwerp
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MECHELEN, more than worth a visit
Mechelen (somewhere between Brussels and Antwerp) is one of Flanders' prominent historical and cultural cities.
In 1473 Duke Charles the Bold moved several political bodies to the city, and Mechelen served as the seat of the Great Council until the French Revolution. Later Mechelen became the capital of the Low Countries in the first half of the 16th century under Archduchess Margaret of Austria (see painting by Orley). When the governmental institutions moved to Brussels, Mechelen got compensated for this: in 1559 it was proclaimed the Archdiocese of Mechelen (see picture of its cathedral). The city is loaded with interesting renaissance buildings, such as the Hof van Savoye (Court of Savoy: later court seat; see two pictures), the palace of Margaret of Austria, governor of the Habsburg Netherlands during several decades. Here she raised her nephew, the later Charles V, until he was 17.
There are about 70 years between the engraving by Hogenberg (Civitatis Orbis Terrarum, 1572) and the one by Blaeu (Stedenboek, 1649; first map shown). In both maps North lies in the bottom left corner. The Dyle River prominently passes through. Like elsewhere in the Spanish Habsburg cities, the inner center has not so much developed due to emigration. New are the renaissance walls, replacing the medieval defense.
The b/w view from Hogenberg’s Geschichtsblätter shows the Spanish Fury in Mechelen on October 1, 1572, when it was plundered by Duke Alva’s troops. One of the escapees from the city was the cartographer Jacob van Deventer. Mechelen was also the birthplace of Frans Hogenberg.(1535-1590.
Copyright text and maps at worldofmappamundi. For much more info see us @FB.#flanders#mechelen#hogenberg#oldmaps#blaeu#historyofburgundy#instahistory#instaart#europeanhisory#europe#cartography#europeancities#renaissance#tourismflanders#mechelentourism#belgium#belgiumhistory#habsburg#raremaps#instamaps#instaantiques#historiaecartografia#toerismevlaanderen#surveying#ancientmaps#oldmapsandprints#mapexhibition#mapcollection#collection#lowcountries
MISSIE À LA CARTE (MISSIONARIES AND CARTOGRAPHY)
Yesterday, a very interesting exhibition was opened at the Mercatormuseum in Sint-Niklaas (Belgium), entitled "Missie à la carte" (Missionaries and cartography). It mainly focuses on the Belgian 19th/early 20th century maps of missions in Congo (Zaïre), unfortunately always embedded in a sphere of colonialusm. However, there are also 17th century maps, and pieces concerning other parts of Africa (Zambesi, Madagascar and Transvaal) America (such as Oregon) and Asia (the Holy Land and Western Bengal). There is even a map of catholic mission in... Scandinavia! In total some 55 maps are at display.
Here is a too short selection of what this special exhibition offers: - 1 Belgian Congo, Missionaries of the Heilig Hart Borgerhout, 1950; - 2 Congo River, Baptists, 1902; - 3 Ubangi (Congo), Kapucijnen missionaries, 1910; - 4 Egypt, Lotter (for the Portuegese Jesuits?), 1760; - 5 detail of statistics on map of Ubangi (Congo), Premonstratenians (Norbertijnen) of Tongerlo, no date - 6 Louisiana, Franciscans, 1687 - 7 Zambesi, Heilig Hert-Jesuits, 1886; - 8 Africa, SDUK, 1837.
Copyright text @worldofmappamundi. There you can also read our full analysis in our previous postingof today on this maps. Enjoy!
AVIGNON, a Papal visit
This is a South view on Avignon, surrounded by the Rhône river with Villeneuve on the other side. The river link was made by the famous Saint-Bénézet bridge (1177-1185; remember the French children's song). Unfortunately the bridge was largely destroyed by a flood in 1668: only 4 of the original 22 arches remain about, with (then as now) the chapel Saint Nicolas.
The city is dominated by the Palais des Papes (Grand Palais; No. 16), built from 1316 to 1370. It was the largest Gothic building during the European middle ages with a floor space of 15,000 m², featuring 12 towers.
Seven Roman Popes resided in Avignon between 1309 and 1376. The coat of arms (three gold keys on red background) was introduced by Pope Clement VI as a symbol of his clerical and secular power. When Europe was ravaged by the plague in 1348 Clement VI went to live in one of the courtyards of the Palace; he lighted bonfires around him in order to purify the air for him. He survived since the fleas that spread the disease were stopped by the fire. Until 1779 Avignon remained Papal possession.
In the 14th century the square Petit Palais (No. 17; just above the Palais des Papes) was built as a residence for the Bishop of Avignon. Now it houses a museum for medieval (mainly Italian) art. The ramparts on the map with a length of 4.8 km and 38 towers dates back to 1350-1368. "Sur le pont d'Avignon... " by Braun-Hogenberg, first edition 1575, this map 1623.
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SCOTLAND, QUO VADIS (what’s your future)? Scotia Regnum: this is a very attractive copy of Blaeu's first map of the Kingdom, based on Mercator's of 1595. Although first published in 1634, this example, lacking text on the reverse was probably issued around 1660. For the Roman Walls and for Gretna Green, see our full text @FB. It is home to almost 800 small islands, including Orkney (see inset),, Arran (yellow below) and the long Skye (green; see picture). In green (left bottom) one recognizes the northern coastline of Ireland. Loch Ness prominently features as the long (somewhat too broad lake in the top middle of the map). On the Braun-Hogenberg city map Edinburgh Castle, indicated as Castrum puellarum, or "Maidens' Castle" dominates the view. Several explanations for this designation exist. See our full text @FB.
The upper and large, horizontal thoroughfare, the High Street (later called the Royal Mile, due to its distance), runs from the Castle Rock to Holyrood abbey (now in ruins; see picture). The guesthouse of the abbey was later transformed into the official residence of the British Monarchy in Scotland, the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Around 1550 the town had 15.000 inhabitants.
On 18 September 2014 a referendum on Scottish Independence from the United Kingdom took place in which 55.3% voted in favor of the union. In the 2016 EU referendum all of the 32 constituencies of Scotland voted Remain, with an overall favorable vote of 68%. So Scotland, a true European nation, quo vadis? Do jou wat to be part of a losing insular island or remain a part of a greater open-mimend European world?
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THE COURT OF HOLLAND – THE HAGUE: a beauty
Joan Blaeu’s “Toonneel der Steden van de Vereenighde Nederlanden” of 1649 contains two prints of the Court of Holland in The Hague: the Binnenhof (interior court) and the Buitenhof (exterior court). Count Willem II started in 1248 to extend the family estate and began building a chapel and a Gotic Knight’s Hall. In this Ridderzaal, the Dutch King annually adresses parliament at the beginning of its working year. The Binnenhof would become the political center of Dutch politics. See also the bird's-eye plan by Braun-Hogenberg. The absence of any city walls strikes: grown by the Late Middle Ages to the size of a city, The Hague never received city rights. Pictures of the Gevangenpoort, the Hofvijver with at the left the Mauritshuis and the Torentje. Finally, a picture of the International Court of Justice.
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Alternative summer holidays on the Peloponnese peninsula
Its modern name derives from ancient Greek mythology, specifically the legend of the hero Pelops. He was said to have conquered the entire region. The name Peloponnesos means "Island of Pelops". During the Middle Ages, the peninsula was known as the Morea. According to folk etymology, this is because the Crusaders found it densely planted with mulberry trees (Greek: moreai) used by the flourishing silk industry.
This very rare view by Frederik de Wit (ca. 1680) is special. By far it is the most beautiful map of this area ever made. Due to its large size it is not an atlas map, but a wall map. Moreover, the region is depicted at the times of the Ottoman rule (same period as de Wit lived), which is made clear by the many minarets to be admired in the city insets. In a clockwise direction one notices: Lepanto, S. Maura, Cerigo (currently Kythira, an island south of Malvasia; see picture), Atene, Misitra (see picture of the Byzantine ruins in all its ruined splendor). Modon, Napoli, Coron (where remnants of the Ottoman-Venetian periods include the castle of “Koroni”; see picture), Patrasso, Malvasia (the rock is clearly visible; Monemvasia is derived from two Greek words, mone and emvasia, meaning "single entrance"; see picture), Corinto, Cas. Tornesi, Zarnata, Navarino. It was at Lepanto (currently known by the Greek name Návpaktos) at the entrance of the Gulf of Corinth, which took place the same battle in 1571 between the Holy League (alliance of Christian countries bordering the Mediterranean) and the Ottoman fleet. The victory by the Christians did not result in territorial shifts.
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When Babur defeated the sultan of Delhi at the battle of Panipat (1526), he established an Islam Empire in Hindustan.His dynasty the "Mogul or Mughal Empire" would continuously expand where Persian became the culture language and Hindu influences are mixed with Islam culture. Agra, Lahore and Delhi would take a prominent position. Local maharajahs played an important administrative role. Under the influence of the British East India Company and its colonial policy almost the entire empire went over in the colonial British India in 1857.
In 1615 sir Thomas Roe got trading rights for the East India Company in Suratte (see also Valentyn, 1726). Suratte would become a directorate of the Dutch East India Company in 1616. The map data are attributed to Thomas Roe (see panting) and William Baffin (the British Explorer of the Arctic and discoverer in 1616 of Baffin Island). Based on these data Henricus Hondius published a map of “Magni Mogolis Empire” in his Atlas Novus of 1638. This almost identical map from the Appendix of 1640 is the work of Joan and Cornelius Blaeu. The maps by Hondius and Blaeu were a vast improvement on previous ones. For the first time the mouth of the Indus (left) appeared correctly, West of the Gulf of Gambay.
The center of the map “India Intra Gangem Indostan” is dominated by Agra (where the fifth Mogul Shah Jahan built the mausoleum Taj Mahal for his - in 1631 - deceased spouse), Dellij and Lahor. The vertical dotted line with villages portrays the Grand Trunk Road, a historic trade route from Kolkata (Calcutta) to Kabul on this continent.
At the right the majestic Ganges delta, colored in green, opens; which corresponds now to Bangladesh. In the East we notice the city Bengala, now Chittagong, which the Mogul conquered in 1666. East of Bengala a tiny fishing village of Calecota (now Kolkata/Calcutta) is noticeable. Also: the mythical lake of Chiang Mai in the East with its five rivers goes back to Marco Polo’s travel report.
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