Finely colored example of the Western part of Coronelli's cornerstone map of North America, one of the most influential maps published in the late 17th century.
Coronelli's map of North America, appeared in his Atlante Veneto. The map is cartographically similar to his famous globe of 1688 and richly embellished with a style unique to Coronelli's maps. The title cartouche features scenes of gods blessing this era of European expansion. Vignettes of native Americans and various creatures appear throughout the map. Cartographically, Coronelli's depiction of the Great Lakes is the most advanced to date, drawing on information from the explorations of Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette. The Mississippi basin reflects the French discoveries of René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle on his first expedition of 1679-82. This map depicts La Salle's misplacement of the mouth of the Mississippi, which he located some 600 miles to the west of its true location.
In the West, Coronelli's map contributes a significant amount of new information, drawn mostly from the manuscript map by Diego Dionisio de Peñalosa Briceño y Berdugo, which included numerous previously unrecorded place names and divided the Rio Grande into the Rio Norte and the Rio Bravo in the south. The manuscript map was prepared by Peñalosa between 1671 and 1687, as part of his attempts to interest the French King Louis XIV in a military expedition against New Spain. The most prominent geographical detail of the map is California's appearance as a massive island, this map being one of the best renderings of this beloved misconception.
Vincenzo Maria Coronelli, a Venetian scholar and Minorite Friar, was one of the most celebrated map and globe makers of his era. Cornelli produced more than one hundred terrestrial and celestial globes, several hundred maps, and a wealth of cartographic publications. In 1683, he completed the Marly Globes for Louis XIV, the largest and most magnificent globes ever made. In 1684 he founded the Academia Cosmografica degli Argonauti, the first geographical society, and was appointed Cosmographer of the Republic of Venice.
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.