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Description

An excellent example of Paolo Forlani's fourth map of the world, derived from Giacomo Gastaldi's 1546 prototype world map and Forlani's earlier world maps of 1560 and 1565.

Between 1560 and 1570, Forlani issued four world maps, the last 3 of which have identical titles (although each is a different size and different set of plates). As with Forlani's earlier world maps, this edition is a re-interpretation of Gastaldi's world map, however a significant addition has been made: a large and extensive southern continent is shown and labeled "Terra Incognita". Forlani has populated the unknown southern land mass with imaginary topographical features, although leaving out the animals which appeared in the 1565 map (Forlani 3).

By 1565, Forlani's maps of northern North America included the label "Nueva Franza" to recognize the growing French role in exploring what was still a little-known continent. Despite Gastaldi pioneering the idea of separate Asian and American continents with the addition of the Strait of Anian in 1562, Forlani disregards this advance. North America is still shown joined to Asia, but many of the eastern coastal features compare well with modern maps; proof that Forlani was skilled at incorporating the latest knowledge about North America's shape from existing charts and explorers' descriptions. Florida and Cuba, for example, are quite accurately positioned.

This 2 sheet world map was published in 1570, shortly after Venice would reach what David Woodward calls the "zenith of map engraving". Unlike Forlani 3, which is embellished with two cherubs in the top corners blowing the winds, this map includes an extensive set of notes in each corner. In the lower corners are a key identifying places and a table of the moon. Other embellishments include: numerous sea monsters and sailing vessels. Forlani's fanciful style made him one of the most popular Italian cartographers of the 16th Century.

Shirley opines that this map may have been published earlier than 1570, but there are apparently no known examples of an earlier state. The present example includes the imprint of Forlani (Paolo Forlani Veronese) and Claudio Ducchetti.

A superb example of this cartographic landmark and the rarest of the 4 World Maps produced by Forlani.

Reference
Shirley, R.W. (World) #121.
Paolo Forlani Biography

Paolo Forlani (fl. ca. 1560-1571) was a prolific map engraver based in Venice. All that is known of his life are his surviving maps and prints, of which there are almost 100 (185 with later states included in the total). He also produced a globe and two town books.  It is likely he came from Verona and that he died in Venice in the mid-1570s, possibly of the plague.