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A finely engraved allegorical titlepage by the eminant cartogapher Vincenzo Maria Coronelli.

This fine title page celebrates the wonders of faith and knowldege. The Virgin Mary occupied price of place, surrounded by various allegorical figures celebrating different virtues of the human spirit. The rendering is finely framed by a grand architectural background with a variety a accoutrements, and is surmounted by the Papal Crown comprised of three tiaras. All considered, it is a very fine example of Venetian Baroque engraving.

Vincenzo Maria Coronelli (1650-1718) was one of the leading cartographers and globe-makers of the Baroque era. Born in Venice, he apprenticed as a xylographer, before joining the Franciscan order in 1665. Around 1678, after studying Astronomy, Coronelli began working as a geographer and was commissioned to make a set of Terrestrial and Celestial Globes Ranuccio II Farnese, the Duke of Parma, which were 5 feet in diameter. Coronelli was next invited to Rome to construct a similar pair of Globes for Louis XIV. From 1681 to 1683, Coronelli lived in Paris, where he constructed a pair of 10 foot diameter globes for the King that weighed 4000 pounds. These spectacualr globes are today on display at the Bibliotheque nationale de France (Paris).

Coronelli the returned to Venice where he published his great atlas, the Atlante Veneto (1698) and founded the Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti, the world's first geographical society.

Vincenzo Maria Coronelli Biography

Vincenzo Maria Coronelli (1650-1718) was one of the most influential Italian mapmakers and was known especially for his globes and atlases. The son of a tailor, Vincenzo was apprenticed to a xylographer (a wood block engraver) at a young age. At fifteen he became a novice in a Franciscan monastery. At sixteen he published his first book, the first of 140 publications he would write in his lifetime. The order recognized his intellectual ability and saw him educated in Venice and Rome. He earned a doctorate in theology, but also studied astronomy. By the late 1670s, he was working on geography and was commissioned to create a set of globes for the Duke of Parma. These globes were five feet in diameter. The Parma globes led to Coronelli being named theologian to the Duke and receiving a bigger commission, this one from Louis XIV of France. Coronelli moved to Paris for two years to construct the King’s huge globes, which are 12.5 feet in diameter and weigh 2 tons.

The globes for the French King led to a craze for Coronelli’s work and he traveled Europe making globes for the ultra-elite. By 1705, he had returned to Venice. There, he founded the first geographical society, the Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti and was named Cosmographer of the Republic of Venice. He died in 1718.