Fine old color example of the second separately printed map of Norway.
.The map depicts Norway up to Senja with the adjacent territories that had recently been acquired by Sweden through the treaties of Roskilde and Copenhagen. Detail is confined primarily to the coastlines and rivers, as there was very little known of the mountainous interior during this period. This map first appeared in Blaeu's Atlas Maior and also in a few rare composite atlases. The present example does not have text on the verso and therefore was likely separately issued and bound into a composite atlas.
Richly decorated with cartouches and coats of arms, the cartouche lower right with a dedication to Prince Christian who was King Christian V in 1670. In 1631 king Christian IV of Denmark ordered the mapping of the Kingdom of Denmark, including Norway and part of Sweden. Joannes Blaeu (1598-1673) was the only publisher who had access to the results of this topographical survey. In 1662, he published an important part of those maps in the first volume of the Atlas Maior. This map of Norway was among them, a rare image of an early representation of the area.
Joan, or Johannes, Blaeu (1596-1673) was the son of Willem Janszoon Blaeu. He inherited his father’s meticulous and striking mapmaking style and continued the Blaeu workshop until it burned in 1672. Initially, Joan trained as a lawyer, but he decided to join his father’s business rather than practice.
After his father’s death in 1638, Joan and his brother, Cornelis, took over their father’s shop and Joan took on his work as hydrographer to the Dutch East India Company. Joan brought out many important works, including Nova et Accuratissima Terrarum Orbis Tabula, a world map to commemorate the Peace of Westphalia which brought news of Abel Tasman’s voyages in the Pacific to the attention of Europe. This map was used as a template for the world map set in the floor of the Amsterdam Town Hall, the Groote Burger-Zaal, in 1655.
Joan also modified and greatly expanded his father’s Atlas novus, first published in 1635. All the while, Joan was honing his own atlas. He published the Atlas maior between 1662 and 1672. It is one of the most sought-after atlases by collectors and institutions today due to the attention to the detail, quality, and beauty of the maps. He is also known for his town plans and wall maps of the continents. Joan’s productivity slammed to a halt in 1672, when a fire completely destroyed his workshop and stock. Joan died a year later and is buried in the Westerkerk in Amsterdam.