Striking full color example of Coronelli's regional map of the provinces of Xensi and Xansi, from Coronelli's rare Corso Geografico Universale, one of the most decorative and ornate of the 17th Century.
This map of Xansi (Shanxi) and Xensi (Shaanxi) is based on the earlier maps by Johannes Blaeu and the Jesuit Martino Martini. It is engraved in Coronelli's bold style with intricate depictions of the terrain and includes a fine illustration of the Great Wall and the Deserto de Xamo. The map is one of six charts of the thirteen provinces of China that were prepared by Coronelli. Three elaborate cartouches.
Vincenzo Maria Coronelli is widely recognised as one of Italy's most famous and greatest cartographers. He received an ecclesiastical education at the convent of the Minor Conventuals and also studied theology in Rome. However, his interests in geography and cartography were awoken early in his ecclesiastical career and never suppressed. He made very famous globes (including an impressive very large-scale pair for Louis XIV) and some of the most interesting and decorative atlases of all 17th century like Atlante Veneto, Isolario, Corso Geografico Universale, Libro dei Globi and also some pocket books about towns and islands.
Vincenzo Maria Coronelli (1650-1718) is one of the most influential Italian mapmakers and is known especially for his globes and atlases. The son of a tailor, Vincenzo was apprenticed to a xylographer (a wood block engraver) at a young age. At fifteen he became a novice in a Franciscan monastery. At sixteen he published his first book, the first of 140 publications he would write in his lifetime. The order recognized his intellectual ability and saw him educated in Venice and Rome. He earned a doctorate in theology, but also studied astronomy. By the late 1670s, he was working on geography and was commissioned to create a set of globes for the Duke of Parma. These globes were five feet in diameter. The Parma globes led to Coronelli being named theologian to the Duke and receiving a bigger commission, this one from Louis XIV of France. Coronelli moved to Paris for two years to construct the King’s huge globes, which are 12.5 feet in diameter and weigh 2 tons.
The globes for the French King led to a craze for Coronelli’s work and he traveled Europe making globes for the ultra-elite. By 1705, he had returned to Venice. There, he founded the first geographical society, the Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti and was named Cosmographer of the Republic of Venice. He died in 1718.