Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Mansfeldia Comitatus

  • Translation

Article ID EUD0053
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 Mansfeldia Comitatus
Year ca. 1630
Description Map shows the county of Mansfeld with coat of arms and title cartouche.
The area of today's state of Saxony-Anhalt was one of the cultural focal points in the German-speaking area in the early Middle Ages. Today's state capital Magdeburg was at that time one of the political centers in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. The well-preserved architectural monuments from the Romanesque and Gothic periods, such as the cathedrals in Magdeburg and Halberstadt, the old town of Quedlinburg and many castles and churches, testify to the earlier importance of the entire region. The state was created in July 1947 through the unification of the Free State of Anhalt with the Prussian provinces of Magdeburg and Halle-Merseburg, which the Free State of Prussia had created in April 1944 by dividing its province of Saxony.
Place of Publication Amsterdam
Dimensions (cm)41 x 50 cm
ConditionVery good
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print

Reproduction:

52.50 €

( A reproduction can be ordered individually on request. )