Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Die Völker von Abissinie / Ples d´Abissinie

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Article ID AF0258
Artist Mallet (1630-1706)
Alain Manesson Mallet (1630- 1706 ) was a French cartographer and engineer. He started his career as a soldier in the army of Louis XIV, became a Sergeant-Major in the artillery and an Inspector of Fortifications. He also served under the King of Portugal, before returning to France, and his appointment to the court of Louis XIV. His military engineering and mathematical background led to his position teaching mathematics at court. His major publications were Description de L'Univers (1683) in 5 volumes, and Les Travaux de Mars ou l'Art de la Guerre (1684) in 3 volumes. His Description de L'Universe contains a wide variety of information, including star maps, maps of the ancient and modern world, and a synopsis of the customs, religion and government of the many nations included in his text. It has been suggested that his background as a teacher led to his being concerned with entertaining his readers. This concern manifested itself in the charming harbor scenes and rural landscapes that he included beneath his description of astronomical concepts and diagrams. Mallet himself drew most of the figures that were engraved for this book.
Title Die Völker von Abissinie / Ples d´Abissinie
Year ca. 1684
Description Representation of Ethiopien inhabitants.
Since the 14th century, the Ethiopian rulers have sought contacts and alliances with the Christian empires in late medieval Europe. European knights of fortune came repeatedly to the Negus court, and European art was in vogue in Ethiopia. In 1493 the Portuguese Pêro da Covilhã reached the Negus court. He was supposed to promote a Portuguese-Ethiopian alliance since Portugal was then beginning to build its rule in the Indian Ocean. In 1543, Portuguese auxiliary troops under the son of Vasco da Gama, Cristóvão da Gama, supported the Ethiopians at the Negus' cry for help against the troops of Ahmed Graññ from the Sultanate of Adal, whom they inflicted devastating defeat. However, their plan to convert the country to Catholicism failed. In the course of colonialism, Ethiopia had to resist the influence of European powers, first under the Emperor Tewodros of the British Ethiopian expedition of 1868, then at the end of the 19th century under the influence of the Italians and their colony Eritrea. At the Battle of Adua, the Ethiopians in 1896, under Emperor Menelik II, repelled the Italian invaders. This result is still considered an important victory for an African army against a European army and has since become an integral part of Ethiopia's national consciousness.
Place of Publication Frankfurt on Main
Dimensions (cm)15,5 x 10
ConditionVery good
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print

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