37.1 x 49.5 cm (14.6 x 19.4 inches). With marginal notes in French indicating the four cardinal directions. With printed text in French on verso. Fine original color; excellent condition.
One of the most richly decorative, early maps of Italy in vibrant color of the period. The map’s title, in Italian, is flanked by two caryatid-like women. Below the cartouche, the legendary founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, are nursed by their adoptive wolf mother. The sea is embellished with several ships and sea monsters, while in the Tyrrhanean Sea, a mermaid and merman are entwined in an erotic embrace.
The map comes from Atlas Novus…orbis terrarium engraved in 1631 and printed in Amsterdam starting from 1638. The atlas was the most successful collaboration between two brothers-in-law, Henricus Hondius and Jan Jansonius. Henricus Hondius's father had acquired the plates to the Mercator atlas and added some of this own. After his death in 1612, Henricus took over the publication of the plates and worked on the atlas together with his brother-in-law.
* van der Krogt 7000:1:411/2.