Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Congi regnu

  • Translation

Article ID AF046
Artist Ortelius (1527-1598)
Abraham Ortelius, (1527 - 1598) Antwerp, comes from an Augsburg family and was born in Antwerp, Spain, where he lived throughout his life. After thorough training, he joined the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke in 1547 as a card painter. In 1554 he took over an antiquarian bookshop that mainly deals with the coloring, distribution and publishing of maps. Basically he is more of a publisher than a scholar. And so he also made the acquaintance of another great man of his time, Gerhard Mercator (1512-1594), who encouraged him to draw cards and to make maps of the most varied of countries. His first cartographic work of his own is a large 8-sheet map of the world that appears in Antwerp in 1564. This is followed by a two-sheet map of Egypt (1565) and another of Asia (1567). The great achievement of Ortelius, who was one of the most famous European cartographers of his time, and the enthusiastic reception of his theater, mark a decisive turning point in the history of the world map. The new path is mapped out with the Theatrum. For the general view of the world, the appearance of Ortelius-Theatrum is important insofar as it emphatically confirms that America is a completely independent continent, which is also not connected to the Asian mainland mass at its northern tip. Ortelius was the first to come up with the idea of ​​producing a handy collection of reliable maps, all kept in the same format and only by the same author for each country. These sheets could also be bound into a book for easy storage and use. Mercator, who also realized the idea of ​​a world atlas from 1569, persuaded his friend to publish the famous Theatrum Orbis Terrarrum. Ortelius collected, traveled, corresponded and negotiated for 10 years before he could have his work printed in the best European printing house (Plantijn / Amsterdam). In addition to technical difficulties, Ortelius had to submit to the political / religious conditions, since maps were also subject to strict scrutiny during the Inquisition. Biblical scenes are pleasant, portraits of outstanding Catholics are welcome, but not family coats of arms or other emblems that could be politically suspect. On May 20, 1570, his first edition of the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first collection of maps in book form, was published, financed and edited by Gillis Hooftman, an Antwerp merchant, banker and shipowner. Atlases did not yet have this name at that time. This collection was published between 1570 and 1612 in 42 editions and in 7 languages: Latin, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, English and Italian. Unlike his professional colleagues, he clearly referenced the sources of his maps and texts. The work contains, among other things, an illustration of the world known until 1492 and was therefore already looking back at the time the map was created.
Title Congi regnu
Year ca. 1590
Description Map shows Congo
The indigenous population of today's state consisted of pygmies, who are now only a small minority. Bantu peoples immigrated for centuries. Among the states there, the Kingdom of the Congo, founded in the 14th century and one of the largest African states ever, emerged. In the 15th century, Portuguese sailors around Diogo Cão explored the area of the Congo estuary and established diplomatic relations with the Congo Empire in 1491. From the 16th century onwards, the Congo Empire was in decline. By the end of the 17th century, the kingdom was completely destroyed, as well as being exploited and looted by slave hunters. After this collapse, the Portuguese supremacy was replaced by that of the Dutch and British. At the beginning of the 18th century the Congo Empire had almost completely disintegrated. In 1866 the last Portuguese left. In the 1870s, Henry Morton Stanley from Welsh was the first European to travel to the hinterland. He proposed that the Congo be incorporated into the British colonial empire. The British government refused because it was primarily interested in the sources of the Nile. The Democratic Republic of the Congo was originally administered as the Belgian Congo by a legislative assembly and regional assemblies made up of only Europeans appointed by colonial authorities. By the late 1950s there was a greater turnout of Africans, but not full voting rights until independence when the colony was renamed Zaire. With the global striving for independence in the colonies, the pressure for state self-determination also grew in the Congo. After the first unrest in the capital Léopoldville and under pressure from the global public, Belgium suddenly withdrew from the Congo in early 1959, leaving behind a chaos. In 1960 the Congo gained independence.
Place of Publication Antwerp
Dimensions (cm)14 x 17
ConditionVery good
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print

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