Novus Atlas, das ist / Welt- beschreibung/ mit schönen neuen ausführlichen land-Taffeln in Kupfer gestochen und an den tag gegeben

  • Translation

Article ID T22

Title

Novus Atlas, das ist / Welt- beschreibung/ mit schönen neuen ausführlichen land-Taffeln in Kupfer gestochen und an den tag gegeben

Description

Titlepage from the Atlas of J. Blaeu

Year

ca. 1620

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.

Historical Description

The title page is one of the most important parts of the "front matter" or "preliminaries" of a book, as the data on it and its verso (together known as the "title leaf") are used to establish the "title proper and usually, though not necessarily, the statement of responsibility and the data relating to publication".This determines the way the book is cited in library catalogs and academic references. The title page often shows the title of the work, the person or body responsible for its intellectual content, and the imprint, which contains the name and address of the book's publisher and its date of publication. Particularly in paperback editions it may contain a shorter title than the cover or lack a descriptive subtitle. Further information about the publication of the book, including its copyright information, is frequently printed on the verso of the title page. The first printed books, or incunabula, did not have title pages: the text simply begins on the first page, and the book is often identified by the initial words—the incipit—of the text proper. Maps were usually published in atlases. And atlases were books with titles. And, again, titles were individual pieces of art. A publisher emphazised the importance of a book he published with a spectacular entrée. Usually the pictures of an atlas title page pertained in general to the subject matter: Measuring instruments, mythologigal, astronomical, religious, scientific, allegorical hints and facts were united in a composition which depicted the pride of progress in knowledge. An atlas title page often is just one superb artistic and jubilant cartouche.

Place of Publication Amsterdam
Dimensions (cm)41 x 25
ConditionVery good
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print

Reproduction:

79.50 €

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