Rare sea chart of Brazil, one of the earliest obtainable Dutch Sea Charts of the region, heightened in Gold.
Finely executed sea chart from a period marked by the Portuguese and Dutch settlements and conflicts, which shaped the region's economic, political, and cultural landscape.
The Portuguese arrived in Brazil in 1500, led by Pedro Álvares Cabral, and claimed the territory for Portugal. Initially, the Portuguese established small trading posts along the coast to trade with the indigenous populations for precious woods, spices, and other commodities. Over time, the Portuguese expanded their territory and established sugar plantations, which became the mainstay of the Brazilian economy in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The Dutch also became interested in Brazil's economic potential and established a trading post in Pernambuco in 1630, after several unsuccessful attempts to establish a foothold in 1624 and 1628. The Dutch were particularly interested in sugar production and established several plantations. The Dutch presence in Brazil, however, was short-lived due to conflicts with the Portuguese, who were unwilling to share their lucrative sugar trade with the Dutch.
The conflict between the Portuguese and Dutch was particularly intense in the northeast region of Brazil, where the Dutch established their stronghold. The Dutch initially had the upper hand in the conflict, but the Portuguese eventually prevailed. The Portuguese expelled the Dutch from Brazil in 1654, and the Dutch presence in the region ended.
The chart depicts the location of the Portuguese and Dutch settlements, as well as the many navigational hazards that sailors encountered along the coast.