Finely colored example of Coronelli's map of Australia and the southern part of the East Indies, which appeared in his Isolario.
The map shows the earliest Australian discoveries on the northern and western coastlines of Australia, embellished with fanciful images of people and animals.
Coronelli's gore includes an important map of Australia, one of the earliest obtainable maps to focus on the north western coast of Australia in some detail. Coronelli's gore is famous for the fanciful depiction of inland Australia, showing Arnhem Land complete with palm trees, reindeer and elephants.
First issued as a separate gore - or globe segment - for Coronelli's terrestrial globe of 1688, the cartographic depiction represents the most up-to-date and accurate information available at the time, most notably, the discoveries made during the first voyage of Abel Tasman in 1642. A number of other early discoveries on the west coast of Australia are noted, including most notably "Terra di Concordia," which is noted as being discovered in 1628.
The annotation in the middle of Australia states in Italian that 'they believe that the newly discovered land is M. Polo's the country of Lochac'. Although the comment perpetuates the age-old errors from the accounts of Marco Polo, it accurately charts some of the Dutch discoveries including those of Hartog in 1616, Houtman in 1619, de Wit in 1628 and those of Tasman's second voyage in 1644.
Vincenzo Maria Coronelli (1650-1718) is one of the most influential Italian mapmakers and is 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.