One of the Earliest Obtainable Maps of South America
Important early map of South America and the Southern part of North America and the Caribbean, one of the earliest separately published maps of South America.
The map provides one of the best early depictions of South America, reporting the discoveries through the beginning of the final decade of the 16th Century. The map is elegantly engraved and embellished with 2 coats of arms, compass roses, a sailing ship and sea monster.
The map appeared in the 3rd Part of De Bry's Grand Voyages, illustrating the accounts of the voyages of Johann van Staden and Jean de Lery during the 1540s and 1550s. The cartography of North America is based upon Jacques Le Moyne's map of Florida, which De Bry published in 1591, making this the second appearance of Le Moyne's cartographic information on a printed map. A masterful engraving of what was then all of Spanish America, including the southern United States. South America is based on the 1587 Peter Martyr map and works by Gastaldi.
The beauty of De Bry's uncommonly intricate engraving is evident. De Bry's Grand Voyages, an illustrated collection of accounts of the Americas, defined the early European picture of the New World.
Theodor de Bry (1528-1598) was a prominent Flemish engraver and publisher best known for his engravings of the New World. Born in Liege, de Bry hailed from the portion of Flanders then controlled by Spain. The de Brys were a family of jewelers and engravers, and young Theodor was trained in those artisanal trades.
As a Lutheran, however, his life and livelihood was threatened when the Spanish Inquisition cracked down on non-Catholics. De Bry was banished and his goods seized in 1570. He fled to Strasbourg, where he studied under the Huguenot engraver Etienne Delaune. He also traveled to Antwerp, London, and Frankfurt, where he settled with his family.
In 1590, de Bry began to publish his Les Grands Voyages, which would eventually stretch to thirty volumes released by de Bry and his two sons. The volumes contained not only important engraved images of the New World, the first many had seen of the geographic novelties, but also several important maps. He also published a collection focus on India Orientalis. Les Grands Voyages was published in German, Latin, French, and English, extending de Bry’s fame and his view of the New World.