Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Tartariae sive magni chami regni

  • Translation

Article ID ASC136
Artist Ortelius (1527-1598)
Abraham Ortelius, (1527 - 1598) Antwerp, comes from an Augsburg family and was born in Antwerp, Spain, where he lived throughout his life. After thorough training, he joined the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke in 1547 as a card painter. In 1554 he took over an antiquarian bookshop that mainly deals with the coloring, distribution and publishing of maps. Basically he is more of a publisher than a scholar. And so he also made the acquaintance of another great man of his time, Gerhard Mercator (1512-1594), who encouraged him to draw cards and to make maps of the most varied of countries. His first cartographic work of his own is a large 8-sheet map of the world that appears in Antwerp in 1564. This is followed by a two-sheet map of Egypt (1565) and another of Asia (1567). The great achievement of Ortelius, who was one of the most famous European cartographers of his time, and the enthusiastic reception of his theater, mark a decisive turning point in the history of the world map. The new path is mapped out with the Theatrum. For the general view of the world, the appearance of Ortelius-Theatrum is important insofar as it emphatically confirms that America is a completely independent continent, which is also not connected to the Asian mainland mass at its northern tip. Ortelius was the first to come up with the idea of ​​producing a handy collection of reliable maps, all kept in the same format and only by the same author for each country. These sheets could also be bound into a book for easy storage and use. Mercator, who also realized the idea of ​​a world atlas from 1569, persuaded his friend to publish the famous Theatrum Orbis Terrarrum. Ortelius collected, traveled, corresponded and negotiated for 10 years before he could have his work printed in the best European printing house (Plantijn / Amsterdam). In addition to technical difficulties, Ortelius had to submit to the political / religious conditions, since maps were also subject to strict scrutiny during the Inquisition. Biblical scenes are pleasant, portraits of outstanding Catholics are welcome, but not family coats of arms or other emblems that could be politically suspect. On May 20, 1570, his first edition of the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first collection of maps in book form, was published, financed and edited by Gillis Hooftman, an Antwerp merchant, banker and shipowner. Atlases did not yet have this name at that time. This collection was published between 1570 and 1612 in 42 editions and in 7 languages: Latin, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, English and Italian. Unlike his professional colleagues, he clearly referenced the sources of his maps and texts. The work contains, among other things, an illustration of the world known until 1492 and was therefore already looking back at the time the map was created.
Title Tartariae sive magni chami regni
Year ca. 1570
Description map of the empire of the Tartars.
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 Antwerp
Dimensions (cm)35,5 x 47
ConditionMounted
Coloringcolored
TechniqueCopper print

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