Rare separately published map of Algiers and its harbor and fortifications, engraved by Paulo Forlani and published by Lucca Bertelli in Venice.
The map is oriented with North at the top and presents a fascinating and disproportionately large representation of Algiers, with the the islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Corsica and Sardinia, and the contiguous coastlines of Spain and Italy, shown in an much smaller scale.
The map shows Algriers at a time when it was prominent in the Barbary Pirate era. In 1516, the amir of Algiers, Selim b. Teumi, invited the corsair brothers Aruj and Hayreddin Barbarossa to expel the Spaniards. Aruj came to Algiers, ordered the assassination of Selim, and seized the town and ousted the Spanish in the Capture of Algiers (1516). Hayreddin, succeeding Aruj after the latter was killed in battle against the Spaniards in the Fall of Tlemcen (1517), was the founder of the pashaluk, which subsequently became the beylik, of Algeria. Barbarossa lost Algiers in 1524, but regained it with the Capture of Algiers (1529), and then formally invited the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, to accept sovereignty over the territory and to annex Algiers to the Ottoman Empire.
Algiers from this time became the chief seat of the Barbary pirates. In October 1541, in the Algiers expedition, the King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, sought to capture the city, but a storm destroyed a great number of his ships, and his army of some 30,000, chiefly made up of Spaniards, was defeated by the Algerians under their Pasha, Hassan. Algiers remained for three centuries under Ottoman rule, until the French Invasion of Algiers in 1830.
A very rare map, known in only a few examples, with no recorded examples appearing in dealer catalogues or at auction.
Paolo Forlani (fl. ca. 1560-1571) was a prolific map engraver based in Venice. All that is known of his life are his surviving maps and prints, of which there are almost 100 (185 with later states included in the total). He also produced a globe and two town books. It is likely he came from Verona and that he died in Venice in the mid-1570s, possibly of the plague.