Map shows total Catalonia.
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.
The Pyrenean region has always been a preferred transit area for culture and trade between the Near East and the British Isles. In the course of the wars between the Frankish Empire and the Arabs, several counties were created at the end of the 8th and beginning of the 9th century in the northern part of Catalonia, which today belongs to Spain, and in northern Catalonia, which today belongs to France. At first, these counties were under the control of the West Frankish or French king, but in the course of the following centuries they became increasingly independent. As a result of the marriage contract between Raimund Berengar IV, Count of Barcelona, and Petronila/Peronella, heiress to the Crown of Aragon, who was only one year old, a state community known as the Crown of Aragon was created in 1137 from Aragon and the lands of the Counts of Barcelona, which were largely identical to Catalonia in the 12th century. The Franco-Spanish War of 1635-1659 saw separatist movements in Spain. In 1640, Portugal successfully regained its independence. Catalonia also tried to regain its former independence, but was not successful in it. In the Peace of the Pyrenees, Spain had to cede the Catalan territories north of the Pyrenees to France, while the rest of Catalonia remained with Spain. In the War of the Spanish Succession (1700-1713), which was about the succession to the throne after the death of Charles II, who remained childless, most Catalans supported the Habsburg pretender to the throne, Archduke Charles, against the Bourbon Philip of Anjou. Between 1812 and 1814, Catalonia was part of the French Empire and was divided first into four and later into two French départements. In the Second Republic, Catalonia was initially granted provisional autonomy in 1931 with the re-establishment of the Generalitat; this was codified in the Statute of Autonomy of 1932. Because of its historical, linguistic and cultural differences from the rest of Spain, Catalonia sees itself as a separate nation. The term nation is understood in the sense of a cultural nation and is not defined by ethnic affiliation.
|Place of Publication||Amsterdam|
|Dimensions (cm)||38 x 48|
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