Finely colored example of Magini's scarce map of the Western Hemisphere, first published in Venice in 1596. The present example appeared in Raphael Savonarola's Universus Terrarum Orbis Scriptorum, published in 1713, the final appearance of this map.
The map follows the work of Giovanni Lorenzo d'Anania, who published a very similar map in Venice in 1582 (Burden 54). The map is derived from Ortelius' map of America and retains many of the characteristics, most notably the bulge on the West Coast of South America. The treatment of the unknown Southern continent is noteworthy for its attachment to Nova Guinea and narrow passage, pre-dating Le Maire's voyage.
Including the Magini map, there are 6 maps of America with the same title and basic appearance, including D'Anania (1582), Botero (1595), Magini (1596), Magini-Keschedt (1597), Rosaccio (1595) and Botero--Giunti (1640). There are subtle distinctions in each of the plates, including size and detail, which help to distinguish the plates. The Magini can be most quickly distinguished by the stippling in the ocean between the words Mare and Pacifico.
Magini's map was re-issued in 1597, 1598 and 1616 in Venice, and 1612 in Padua. The plate also appeared in 2 Italian editions of Ortelius' Epitome, published by Stefano Curti in Venice in 1679 and 1683, and in Raphael Savonarola's Univerus Terrarum Orbis Scriptorum, published in Padua in 1713. The latter map can be quickly distinguished from the others by its being set within a sheet of text.
An exceptional example, with wide margins and a fine dark impression.
Giovanni Antonio Magini was an accomplished Italian cartographer, astronomer, astrologer, and mathematician—in short, a Renaissance man. Born in Padua, he studied philosophy in Bologna. His first publication was Ephemerides coelestium motuum, an astronomical treatise published in 1582. In 1588 he was selected, over Galileo Galilei, to fill the chair of mathematics at the University of Bologna. He died in that city in 1617.
Magini operated under a geocentric understanding of the universe and created his own planetary theory consisting of eleven rotating spheres. He published this theory in Novæ cœlestium orbium theoricæ congruentes cum observationibus N. Copernici (Venice, 1589). In the 1590s he published works on surveying and trigonometry, as well as invented a calculator. In 1596, he published a commentary of Ptolemy’s Geographia, which was published in several editions and languages. He labored for years on an atlas of Italy, which was printed posthumously in 1620. To pay for this project, Magini served as the math tutor to the son of the Duke of Mantua, as well as being the court astrologer to the Duke.