Fine example of Giacomo Gastaldi's rare 2-sheet wall map of Arabia, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean, the single most influential map of the region published in the 16th Century.
Gastaldi's map was without question the most influential map of the region of its time, and was directly copied by Abraham Ortelius, Cornelis De Jode and Gerard Mercator in their respective atlases and other maps.
Offered here in the very rare first state, this map was produced by Gastaldi himself and was finely engraved by Fabio Licinio. It is centred on the Arabian Peninsula, and encompasses the area from the Nile valley to the mouth of the Indus River.
Suarez furthermore describes at length the sources and innovations used by Gastaldi for all of his Asian continental maps, but foremost the three-sectional map "had a major influence on the work of Ortelius and de Jode... In their representation of the coastlines his maps are superior to all previous known maps of Asia, either drawn by hand or printed" (Schilder in The Map Collector no. 17, p. 7).
Nordinskold goes on to note:
Finally, it must be remembered that Gastaldi, under the guidance of Ramusio, is supposed to have aided in repairing or repainting the famous wall-maps in Sala dello scudo in Venice . . . If such was the case, it may be considered probable that the monumental maps of Africa and Asia by Gastaldi have had some connection to [Gastaldi's map of Asia], that these copper-plate engravings are a reproduction of the originals of the wall maps in that form which was given them in the middle of the sixteenth century.
Giacomo Gastaldi (1500-1566) is considered the foremost Italian cartographer of the sixteenth century, alongside Paolo Forlani. His skills of compilation are comparable to those of Mercator and Ortelius, yet much less is known of his life than of his two contemporaries. Gastaldi was born in Villafranca, Piedmont, but had established himself in Venice by 1539. He originally worked as an engineer, but turned to mapmaking from the 1540s onward.
It was in Venice where he made his reputation as an engraver, geographer, and cosmographer; for example, he was asked to fresco maps of Asia and Africa in the Palace of the Doge, or the Council of Ten, Venice’s governmental body. He also frequently consulted on projects for the Savi sopra la Laguna, drawing maps for this body which oversaw the regulation of fresh and salt water around Venice.
His contemporaries also recognized his skill, as he was named cosmographer to the Republic of Venice, was a member of the Accademia Veneziana, and was a major source for other geographers and mapmakers including Camocio, Bertelli, Cock, Luchini, and Ortelius. He even had his own distinct style of copper engraving that made him a pioneer in his day and makes his works iconic today.
Gastaldi enjoyed an especially productive relationship with Giovanni Battista Ramusio, Secretary of the Venetian Senate, who used Gastaldi's maps for his famous travel account collection, Navigationi et Viaggi. Gastaldi also tutored Ramusio's son in cosmography.