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The Story of Exodus on Blaeu's Map of the Holy Land

Fine old color example of Blaeu's map of the Holy Land.

At the right, the map shows the aftermath of Moses and the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea, with Moses atop a rock at the right, watching the closing of the Sea and Pharaoh's army's inundated.  

Further to the right, a seen shows the encampment at the foot of Mount Sinai, with Moses in the glow of the burning bush, receiving the Ten Commandments.  

Includes large cartouche, two compass roses, sea monsters and other embellishments. One of the most decorative Holy Land maps of the period. Oriented with west at the top.

Willem Janszoon Blaeu Biography

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.