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Description

Marvelous image of Girolamo Benzoni, aboard his ship, as he approaches the Caribbean on his voyage to the New World in 1541.

Benzoni sailed to the New World in 1541, travelling through the Caribbean, Central and South America, before returning to Spain and then to Italy in 1556. In 1565, the first account of his travels in the New World appeared under the title Historia del Mondo Nuovo, which was translated into English and French over the next 30 years. Among the more entertaining elements of Benzoni's account of his time in the New World is his report of flying fish witnessed by the crew, after sailing west for 14 days out of the Canaries.

The map is based upon the image created by Theodore De Bry. De Bry's interpretation of this famous passage from Benzoni's account provides a lively image of Benzoni alone, on the deck of his flagship. He is surrounded by flying fish, with two other sailing ships in the distance, a windhead, several curious sea monsters, and a representation of land (likely intended to represent the New World, since Benzoni's ship is pointed in the direction of land) on the horizon.