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Rare Early Map of Cyprus By Paolo Forlani

Second state of this rare early map of Cyprus, published in Venice by Paolo Forlani.

The map is oriented with the east at the top and includes a nice descriptive cartouche at the top right. From the cartographic point of view, except for the orientation, the map follows the model published in Rome in 1560 by Bartolomeo Faleti (Bifolco-Ronca, table 837). Other elements, such as the course of the river Pediaeus, derive from the manuscript map of 1562, by Giorgio Sideri. Nicosia is still surrounded by the walls built by the Franks, which were destroyed in 1567.

The engraving is ascribed to Paolo Forlani by Ashley Baynton-Williams, for obvious stylistic reasons, however it does not appear among the Forlaini's monograph by David Woodard (1990). For this reason the place of printing is brought back to Venice, where Duchetti made use of the collaboration of Forlani.

A second issue of the map was printed in Rome by Giovanni Orlandi in 1602. The plate is present in the catalog of the widow of Giacomo Gherardi, heir to the Duchetti calcographic collection - October 1598 (No. 275) described as "l’Isola di Cipri" - then it was bought by Orlandi in 1602.


The second state of the map is known in only one other recorded example, in the Silvia Ioannou Foundation, Vaduz (cfr. Bifolco-Ronca p. 1670, Baynton-Williams, pp. 51-53).

Bifolco-Ronca, Cartografia e Topografia Italiana del XVI secolo, Catalogo ragionato delle opera a stampa (2018), pp. 1670-71, tav. 845 (2nd state of 2).
Paolo Forlani Biography

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.