Mapmaker: Girolamo Ruscelli (c.1500-1566)
Size: 180mm x 244mm, Copper engraving.
This is the rare first state of Ruscelli’s world map included in his translation of Ptolemy’s Geographia, printed by Vincenzo Valgrisi. It features a stipple engraved sea and numerous rhumb lines radiating from seventeen focal points. The map is based on Gastaldi’s world map of 1548 which he designed for use in maritime navigation and was engraved by Giulio and Livio Sanuto. The map contains only minimal interior detail but includes several important ports and trading posts including, Zanzibar on the east coast of Africa and Cambay, one of India’s two main ocean ports, visited by Marco Polo in 1293. The Magellan Strait, at the southern tip of South America is labelled and Tierra del Fuego is shown as a very large island.
Curiously, the large southern continent of Terra Australis Incognita that appears in other maps of the period is not depicted. The map records the changing nature of cartography in the si
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