Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Iaponiae insulae descriptio

  • Translation

Article ID ASN275
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 Iaponiae insulae descriptio
Year ca. 1595
Description Map of Japan.
In the 16th century, Portuguese traders and Jesuit missionaries first reached Japan and initiated direct commercial and cultural exchanges between Japan and the West. Oda Nobunaga used European technology and firearms to conquer many other daimyos. His power consolidation began in the so-called Azuchi Momoyama period. After Nobunaga's death in 1582, his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified the nation in the early 1590s and launched two unsuccessful invasions of Korea in 1592 and 1597. He was appointed Shogun by Emperor Go-Yōzei in 1603 and founded the Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo (modern Tokyo). The shogunate enacted measures such as the Buk-Shohatto code of conduct to control the autonomous daimyōs and in 1639 the isolationist sakoku ("closed country") policy, which spanned two and a half centuries of weak political unity known as the Edo period (1603-1868) . During the isolation of Japan in the Edo period, entry and exit for Japanese and foreigners were prohibited. With the exception of limited exchanges with China and the Netherlands, who were the only Europeans allowed to stay in Japan on the artificial island of Dejima off Nagasaki in 1639, there was hardly any contact with other states. The Tokugawa family retained control of the other daimyo for over 250 years. This period was marked by great prosperity for the Japanese people. The population grew steadily. Today's Tokyo grew into the largest metropolitan area in the world during this time. The economic growth of modern Japan began during this period, leading to road and water transport routes, as well as financial instruments such as futures, banks, and insurance for the Osaka rice brokers. The study of western sciences (Rangaku) continued through contact with the Dutch enclave in Nagasaki. The Edo period led to Kokugaku ("National Studies"), the study of Japan by the Japanese. In 1854, Commodore Matthew Perry and the "Black Ships" of the United States Navy forced the opening of Japan to the outside world with the Kanagawa Convention. Later similar treaties with other Western countries brought economic and political crises with them. The cabinet took over Western political, judicial and military institutions, organized the privy council, introduced the Meiji constitution and assembled the Reichstag.
Place of Publication Antwerp
Dimensions (cm)36 x 48
ConditionCenterfold perfetly restored
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print

Reproduction:

840.00 €

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