Highly important early map of America and the Atlantic Ocean from Pedro de Medina's Arte de Navegar, first published in Valladolid, in 1545.
Medina's map is the first printed map to note the Papal Line of Demarcation and the first map to identify the Rio Spiritu Santo in Texas.
Medina's map of America and the Atlantic is drawn from a number of sources, including Medina's own observation while serving under Hernando Cortes on his voyage to the New World. Medina also held an official position with the Spanish Government which required him to debrief returning crews from their explorations in the New World. Upon their return, this made him privy to the best available Spanish information from the New World at a time when Spain dominated Western Explorations.
The present map illustrates the early Spanish trade routes between Spain and her possessions in America. The ships are shown heading south-westernly on the outbound voyage and returning via the Gulf Stream. This depiction of the Gulf Stream is fascinating in and of itself, as it was not widely utilized and studied by most of the other European Sea powers for another 200 years.
The Papal Line of Demarcation between Spanish and Portugese Possessions in the New World is shown for the first time on a printed map, which was finally laid down by decree of Pope Alexander VI, in 1493, following Columbus's return from his first voyage. Central America and especially Panama are shown with remarkable accuracy, although in the Italian edition (as with Nicholas de Nicolai's map of 1553), the Yucatan is mapped as an island. This is also the earliest map of America to note the Rio Spiritu Santo in Texas (R. Spt. San.), following Hernando de Soto's landmark voyage of exploration in the region (1539-43). The Gulf of St. Lawrence is beginning to take shape after Jacques Cartier's Voyage. Florida is also named, and this is one of the earliest obtainable maps to name the region. Interesting early depiction of the Amazon River.
The map is known in several editions and sub-states, all of which are very rare.
- Single block with 16 rhumblines (1545)
- Block split in 2 parts -- some copies with a further extension to the south to cover all of South America (left sheet only) (1548)
- 2 blocks. 8 Rhumb lines (1552)
The map was issued from 1545 to 1568. The present example can be dated 1566, as it is printed back to back, the first edition to appear thusly.