Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Tartariae Sinensis Mappa Geographica

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Article ID ASC150
Artist Homann Erben (1724-1780)
Johann Babtiste Homann (1664-1724) was born in Oberkammlach, the Electorate of Bavaria. Although educated at a Jesuit school, and preparing for an ecclesiastical career, he eventually converted to Protestantism and from 1687 worked as a civil law notary in Nuremberg. He soon turned to engraving and cartography; in 1702 he founded his own publishing house. Homann acquired renown as a leading German cartographer, and in 1715 was appointed Imperial Geographer by Emperor Charles VI. Giving such privileges to individuals was an added right that the Holy Roman Emperor enjoyed. In the same year he was also named a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin. Of particular significance to cartography were the imperial printing privileges (Latin: privilegia impressoria). These protected for a time the authors in all scientific fields such as printers, copper engravers, map makers and publishers. They were also very important as a recommendation for potential customers. In 1716 Homann published his masterpiece Grosser Atlas ueber die ganze Welt (Grand Atlas of all the World). Numerous maps were drawn up in cooperation with the engraver Christoph Weigel the Elder, who also published Siebmachers Wappenbuch. Homann died in Nuremberg. He was succeeded by the Homann heirs company, which was in business until 1848. The company was known as Homann Erben, Homanniani Heredes, or Heritiers de Homann abroad.
Title Tartariae Sinensis Mappa Geographica
Year dated 1749
Description Map of central Asia with Tartaria, Korea, and Japan.
Tartary was a historical region in Asia located between the Caspian Sea-Ural Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Tartary was a blanket term used by Europeans for the areas of Central Asia, North Asia, and East Asia unknown to European geography. It encompassed the vast region of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, the Volga-Urals, the Caucasus, Siberia, Inner Asia, Mongolia and Manchuria. Knowledge of Manchuria, Siberia and Central Asia in Europe prior to the 18th century was limited. The entire area was known simply as "Tartary" and its inhabitants "Tartars". In the Early modern period, as understanding of the geography increased, Europeans began to subdivide Tartary into sections with prefixes denoting the name of the ruling power or the geographical location. Thus, Siberia was Great Tartary or Russian Tartary, the Crimean Khanate was Little Tartary, Manchuria was Chinese Tartary, and western Central Asia (prior to becoming Russian Central Asia) was known as Independent Tartary. European opinions of the area were often negative, and reflected the legacy of the Mongol invasions that originated from this region. The term originated in the wake of the widespread devastation spread by the Mongol Empire. The adding of an extra –r- to "Tatar" was suggestive of Tartarus, a Hell-like realm in Greek mythology. In the 18th century, conceptions of Siberia or Tartary and its inhabitants as –barbarous- by Enlightenment-era writers tied into contemporary concepts of civilization, savagery and racism. The usage of –Tartary- declined as the region became more known to European geographers; however, the term was still used long into the 19th century. Ethnographical data collected by Jesuit missionaries in China contributed to the replacement of Chinese Tartary with Manchuria in European geography by the early 18th century.[8] The voyages of Egor Meyendorff [ru] and Alexander von Humboldt into this region gave rise to the term Central Asia in the early 19th century as well as supplementary terms such as Inner Asia and Russian expansionism led to the term "Siberia" being coined for the Asian half of the Russian Empire.By the 20th century, Tartary as a term for Siberia and Central Asia was obsolete. However, it lent the title to Peter Fleming's book News from Tartary, which detailed his travels in Central Asia.
Place of Publication Nuremberg
Dimensions (cm)52 x 79
ConditionSome folds partly restored
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print

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