Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Insulae Americanae in Oceano Septentrionali

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Article ID AMW142
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 Insulae Americanae in Oceano Septentrionali
Year ca. 1630
Description map of the Caribbean Islands.
The Caribbean is named after the Caribbean people, which the Spanish conquerors found in the Lesser Antilles (lat. Ante ilium, "offshore islands"). It was / is also called the West Indies because it was believed to have been discovered by sea directly to India. Before the discoveries in the 1st millennium BC BC Arawak Indians came from Venezuela to the Caribbean Islands. They spread northwards through Trinidad. They were followed around 1500 years later by the warlike caribou, which the Arawak slowly drove from the Lesser Antilles. At the time of Christopher Columbus' voyages of discovery, the Arawak inhabited the islands of Cuba, Hispaniola and the Bahamas, while the Caribbean lived in the Lesser Antilles. When Columbus landed in San Salvador (Bahamas) on behalf of the Spanish crown in 1492, he was primarily looking for gold and other riches. But the Arawak did not care what Europeans saw as wealth. So the Caribbean was settled, but the conquistadors soon moved to the American continent. Gradually, English, Dutch and French settled. Even Denmark, Sweden and Courland were owned by some colonies. St. Barthélemy was e.g. B. almost a century under Swedish rule. Much of the native Indians eventually fell victim to introduced diseases or slavery. The Caribbean was particularly active in the 17th and early 18th centuries for Buccaneers and Pirates (so-called Golden Age of Piracy). The small islands offered the pirates, some of whom were privateers commissioned by a king, numerous shelters, and the Spanish treasure fleets were a good and worthwhile target. Port Royal in Jamaica and the French settlement on Tortuga were real pirate settlements.
Place of Publication Amsterdam
Dimensions (cm)38,5 x 52,5
ConditionVery good
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print

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