Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Aethiopia superior vel Interior; vulgo Abissinorum sive Presbiteri Joannis Imperium.

  • Translation

Article ID AF0484
Artist Blaeu (1571-1638)
Joan Guilliemus Blaeu was the eldest son of Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638), and was probably born in Alkmaar in the province of Noord-Holland in the final years of the 16th century. He was brought up in Amsterdam, and studied law at the University of Leiden before going into partnership with his father in the 1630s. Although his father Willem had cartographic interests, having studied under the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe and having manufactured globes and instruments, his primary business was as a printer. It was under the control of Joan that the Blaeu printing press achieved lasting fame by moving towards the printing of maps and expanding to become the largest printing press in Europe in the 17th century. By the 1660s the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (or Atlas Maior as it had became known by this time) had expanded to between 9 and 12 volumes, depending on the language. With over 3,000 text pages and approximately 600 maps, it was the most expensive book money could buy in the later 17th century. The translation of the text from Latin into Dutch, English, German, French, and Spanish for several volumes created enormous work for those involved in typography and letterpress activities. It is estimated that over 80 men must have been employed full-time in the Blaeu printing house in Bloemgracht, not including engravers who worked elsewhere, with over 15 printing presses running simultaneously, and in 1667 a second press was acquired at Gravenstraat. At the same time as producing the Atlas Maior, Blaeu was also publishing town plans of Italy, maps for globes, and other volumes. At its peak the Blaeu press managed to produce over 1 million impressions from 1,000 copper plates within four years.
Title Aethiopia superior vel Interior; vulgo Abissinorum sive Presbiteri Joannis Imperium.
Year ca. 1610
Description Map shows the regions around the equator of Africa. Such as Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, Cameroon, Gabon, Rep. Of Congo, Democratic Rep. Of Congo, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, ... Furthermore, a magnificent title cartouche and animal sets such as elephants, monkeys and ostriches in the Inland.
According to the "Out-of-Africa theory", Africa is considered the "cradle of mankind", where homo development led to the development of the anatomically modern human Homo sapiens. One of the earliest advanced civilizations in mankind was formed in ancient Egypt. Over the millennia, various "great empires" such as the Empire of Abyssinia emerged on the continent. There were other kingdoms in West Africa, such as the Ashanti and Haussa, but they emerged much later. There were also some important cultures in East and South Africa, as in the area of today's Sudan, then called Nubia or Kush. Nubian pharaohs ruled all of Egypt for a dynasty. For example, the inhabitants of Greater Zimbabwe were important cultures in southern Africa. This stone castle was architecturally a masterpiece at that time and important for trade between the peoples of the south and east. The Swahili were known in East Africa. North Africa was connected to Europe and the Near East by the Mediterranean rather than separated. Carthage, a foundation of the Phoenicians in what is now Tunisia, was around the middle of the 1st millennium BC. The dominant power in the western Mediterranean until it was replaced by Rome in the Punic Wars. This prevailed from 30 BC. BC (conquest of Egypt) over all of North Africa. Even the ancient Egyptians (Queen Hatshepsut) made trips to Punt, probably in what is now Somalia. The kingdom of the Queen of Sheba, which probably had its center in southern Arabia, is said to have spanned parts of the Horn from Africa to the north of Ethiopia.
Place of Publication Amsterdam
Dimensions (cm)38,5 x 49,5 cm
ConditionOuter margin missing part restored
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print

Reproduction:

90.00 €

( A reproduction can be ordered individually on request. )