Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Imperii Sinarum nova descriptio

  • Translation

Article ID ASC0139
Artist 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.
Title Imperii Sinarum nova descriptio
Year ca. 1650
Description Decorative map of the Chinese Empire.Showing China, the island Formosa and Japan.
By the 15th century, Beijing had essentially taken its current shape. The Ming city wall continued to serve until modern times, when it was pulled down and the 2nd Ring Road was built in its place. It is generally believed that Beijing was the largest city in the world for most of the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.The first known church was constructed by Catholics in 1652 at the former site of Matteo Ricci's chapel; the modern Nantang Cathedral was later built upon the same site. The capture of Beijing by Li Zicheng's peasant army in 1644 ended the dynasty, but he and his Shun court abandoned the city without a fight when the Manchu army of Prince Dorgon arrived 40 days later. The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty( the years 1420 to 1912). It is located in the center of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. When Hongwu Emperor's son Zhu Di became the Yongle Emperor, he moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing, and construction began in 1406 on what would become the Forbidden City. Construction lasted 14 years and required more than a million workers. It served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government for almost 500 years. The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. Since 1925 the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Place of Publication Amsterdam
Dimensions (cm)46 x 60
ConditionVery good
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print

Reproduction:

330.00 €

( A reproduction can be ordered individually on request. )