Exceptional old color example of Blaeu's rare Plan of Moscow. This most impressive plan of Moscow (Moskva) appeared in Blaeu's atlas for the first time in 1662. The map is believed to be derived from a Russian survey prepared at the orders of Boris Fyodorovich Godunov (c. 1551-1605), Tsar of Muscovy from 1598 onward, and was probably prepared prior to 1630. The original Russian plan has apparantly not survived, and Blaeu may have used a copy made in 1610 for King Sigismund III of Poland. The plan as published by Blaeu, shows the old city which surrounds the Kremlin and the Kitai Gorod or Fortified City. The name Kremlin first appeared as Kreml' (or High Town) in an account of the fire in the town in 1331. It was founded in 1147 at the junction of two rivers, the Moskva and the Neglinnaya. As Moscow grew, the Kremlin became the royal, religious and secular heart of the city. Until Tsar Peter I transferred his seat of government to his new city of St Petersburg in 1713, it was the capital city. beyond the walls of Kitai Gorod, another section grew up, called Belgorod or White City, which was in 1584 after the death of Tsar Ivan the Terrible with a wall which spanned 6 miles and included 28 towers. A fine wide margined example in old color.
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.