Striking full color example of one of Johannes Blaeu's remarkable decorative maps of Brazil, which were first engraved for Gaspar Barleus' Rerum per Octennium in Brasilia, first published in 1647, then reissued in editions of the Atlas Major, beginning in 1662. This example shows the region from Pto. De. S. Maria to the Rio de San Francisco, then up the river to Den Wachter. Includes and ornate garland at the top, three indigenous animals, decorative cartouche, compass rose and sailing ships. A fine wide margined example, with French text on the verso.
Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) was a prominent Dutch geographer and publisher. Born the son of a herring merchant, Blaeu chose not fish but mathematics and astronomy for his focus. He studied with the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, with whom he honed his instrument and globe making skills. Blaeu set up shop in Amsterdam, where he sold instruments and globes, published maps, and edited the works of intellectuals like Descartes and Hugo Grotius. In 1635, he released his atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, sive, Atlas novus.
Willem died in 1638. He had two sons, Cornelis (1610-1648) and Joan (1596-1673). Joan trained as a lawyer, but joined his father’s business rather than practice. After his father’s death, the brothers took over their father’s shop and Joan took on his work as hydrographer to the Dutch East India Company. Later in life, Joan would modify and greatly expand his father’s Atlas novus, eventually releasing his masterpiece, the Atlas maior, between 1662 and 1672.