Striking full color example of one of Johannes Blaeu's remarkable decorative maps of Brazil, which were first engraved for Gaspar Barleus' Rerum per Octennium in Brasilia, first published in 1647, then reissued in editions of Blaeu's atlases.
This example shows the region from Pto. De. S. Maria to the Rio de San Francisco, then up the river to Den Wachter. Includes and ornate garland at the top, three indigenous animals, decorative cartouche, compass rose and sailing ships.
The images are derived from the extremely rare Georg Marcgraf - Johannes Blaeu wall map of Brazil, the most important map of Brazil published in the 17th Century. This 9 sheet map was issued in several editions, beginning with Blaeu's edition of 1643.
Georg Marcgraff (1610-1644) was a German astronomer and naturalist. In 1637, he was appointed astronomer of a company being formed to sail to the Dutch colony in Brazil. He accompanied Willem Piso, a physician and the newly appointed governor of the Dutch possessions in that country. Later, Marcgraf worked for Johannes Maruitiius of Nassau, who allowed Marcgraf to explore and later mapa considerable part of Brazil. He arrived in Brazil in early 1638 and undertook the first zoological, botanical, and astronomical expedition there, exploring various parts of the colony to study its natural history and geography. He later explored the coast of Guinea, where he died in 1644
During his time in Brazil, Marcgraf and Cornelis Goliath created a map of Brazil, under the sponsorship of Johan Maurits, which was completed in 1643. This map remained the most important ad accurate cartographic representation of Brazil until the 19th century. The Marcgraf Map-actually a series of maps-is illustrated with engravings that offer panoramas of Brazilian life. The illustrations in the map were probably based directly on the drawings of Frans Post, during his 7 years in Brazil as part of the Dutch occupation of the region.
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.