Fine old color example of Blaeu's rare Plan of the Kremlin, which appeared only in his Atlas Major.
The map shows exceptional detail inside the heart of Moscow's inner walled fortress and the Kitai Gorod or Fortified City.
The name Kremlin first appeared as Kreml' (or High Town) in an account of the fire in the town in 1331. It was founded in 1147 at the junction of two rivers, the Moskva and the Neglinnaya. As Moscow grew, the Kremlin became the royal, religious and secular heart of the city.
Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) was a prominent Dutch geographer and publisher. Born the son of a herring merchant, Blaeu chose not fish but mathematics and astronomy for his focus. He studied with the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, with whom he honed his instrument and globe making skills. Blaeu set up shop in Amsterdam, where he sold instruments and globes, published maps, and edited the works of intellectuals like Descartes and Hugo Grotius. In 1635, he released his atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, sive, Atlas novus.
Willem died in 1638. He had two sons, Cornelis (1610-1648) and Joan (1596-1673). Joan trained as a lawyer, but joined his father’s business rather than practice. After his father’s death, the brothers took over their father’s shop and Joan took on his work as hydrographer to the Dutch East India Company. Later in life, Joan would modify and greatly expand his father’s Atlas novus, eventually releasing his masterpiece, the Atlas maior, between 1662 and 1672.