Guiana sive Amazonum Regio

  • Translation

Article ID AMS1391


Guiana sive Amazonum Regio


Magnificent map shows Guyana in South America with three cartouches, a compass rose, ship announcements and a sea monster.


ca. 1630


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.

Historical Description

The name Guyana" was derived from the original name of the Guiana region. The region includes Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and parts of Venezuela and Brazil. Today's Guyana consisted of the colonies Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice founded by the Netherlands in the 17th and 18th centuries. The ownership of these areas changed several times between the colonial powers Netherlands, Great Britain and France until 1815. After the defeat of Napoléon Bonaparte, the three colonies were transferred to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. In 1831 the colony of British Guiana was founded from this. The British geologist and topographer Charles B. Brown traveled to the largely unexplored hinterland of the region between Suriname and Venezuela from 1868 to 1871 on behalf of the colonial administration. Brown was commissioned with the exact measurement of the river courses and geological investigations. Thanks to his 40-month research trips in the tropical rainforest, numerous local settlements, deposits of mineral resources and topographical features in the interior of the country were documented. Guyana finally achieved independence from the United Kingdom on May 1966.

Place of Publication Amsterdam
Dimensions (cm)37,5 x 49,5 cm
ConditionSome restoration at centerfold
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print


60.00 €

( A reproduction can be ordered individually on request. )