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Description

First state of Blaeu's map of Catalonia, extending from C. De Romani on the Northern Coast to Alfachs and Panicola in Valencia on the southern end of the coast and showing the entirety of Catalonia in tremendous detail. Nearly 1000 towns and cities named. Shows castles, walled cities, towns, rivers, mountains and many other details. Large decorative cartouche with coat of arms, large decorative scale of miles, 4 sailing ships and two compass roses. From the 1634 German edition of Blaeu's Atlas Novus. A nice example, with wide clean margins.

Willem Janszoon Blaeu Biography

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.