1587 Atlas of Joan Martines


Facsimile edition of the Atlas of Joan Martines, whose original is kept in the National Library of Spain (Vitr. 4.20).

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Facsimile edition of the Atlas of Joan Martines, whose original is kept in the National Library of Spain (Vitr. 4.20).

Little is known of the author of this magnificent atlas-manuscript. By the signatures of their maps we know who lived in Messina (Sicily), at least from 1556 to 1587, and that between this year and 1591 was named by Felipe II Real Cartographer and moved to Naples. Your Aragonese origin is indisputable. The island of Sicily was incorporated into the Crown of Aragon Pedro III in 1282 and remained attached to Spain, except for small periods of time, until the Treaty of Utrecht was signed in 1713. The emigration of Jews from the kingdom of Aragon to the island they were very frequent and including Majorcan cartographers who spent his school revived in the new island. In this tradition Joan Martines was formed.

The manuscript consists of 19 maps two pages whose design takes up almost the entire length of the leaves, boxed with fillets of different colors. Lavishly illuminated with colorful gouache and gold leaf and silver, the maps are attached in pairs and carry a rich binding of the XVI century red leather in which four boxes provide a framework to shield of Felipe II with weapons Iberian Peninsula, Italy and Flanders.

The decoration of the exterior frame is a stylization of lilies in ovals, the next has small animals, symbolic perhaps related to the virtues of the King: the pelican, the hare, the falcon; or heraldic type: double-headed eagle, the dragon, etc.

The set consists of six nautical charts or portulanos in which there is only information about the coastal zone. Two map-mundi projection and eleven different maps showing the topography, hydrography, stocks, etc. is indicated Maps have a rather archaic appearance, with decorative elements, shapes and almost medieval spellings; however, the information provided was known in the second half of the sixteenth century.

Technical characteristics of this beautiful and interesting facsimile:

Era: 1587 (XVI century)
Format: 580 x 390 mm
Content: 19 maps 580 x 800 mm, folded and sewn
Support: very fine parchment or vellum
Binding: Leather
It comes in transparent box
Maps that form the Atlas are:

I. WORLD MAP, with the Eastern and Western hemispheres for the Old and New Worlds, equidistant map projection. At the top, the title TYPVS ORBIS Terrarvm, and lower the signed and dated: Joan Martines in Messina ANY 1587. In eight phylacteries in red, blue and gold, the names of the winds surrounding the map.
II. PORTULANO MEDITERRANEAN, BLACK SEA NORTH EASTERN ATLANTIC. nautical chart with the center in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Six roses decorated beautifully winds portulano adorn this typical Majorcan cartographic school.
VI. SICILY. It is the most complete and richly illuminated Atlas map.
IX. World Map
XII. ARABIA. In this map the author focuses especially on the Arabian Peninsula, increasing scale. It stands next to the ruins of Babylon Euphrates, drawing a small buildings, perhaps the hanging gardens; Mecca and puts the legend: porte di ferro dove sta sepelito maxometto next to a mountain where a tiny red doors topped by a crescent are.
XIII. AFRICA. It is representing Africa, offshore Brazil and part of the Iberian peninsula.
XIV. EASTERN PACIFIC OCEAN. nautical chart with the American west coast, from Mexico to the Magellan Strait and the northern coast of New Guinea.
XV. SOUTH AMERICA. Almost rectangular shape, as is customary in the Flemish charts.

Depleted publishing work. Indispensable for any good cartographer and bibliophile collector.

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