Monumental Six Sheet Map of the Danube Region
Nice example of Vincenzo Maria Coronell's magnificent 6-sheet map of the course of the Danube River from Vienna to Nikopolje, published in Venice.
The map is a remarkable compendium of information relating to the ongoing wars with the Ottoman Empire in the region. Many of the major settlements shown on the map are annotated with details from the wars, including dates of major conflicts, multiple names used for the settlement in different languages, populations and other interesting details. Especially interesting are the notes about number of inhabitants and houses in particular settlements. A number of coats of arms are also included, denoting the various Kingdoms, etc., including a blank coat of arms in modern Albania.
Vincenzo Maria Coronelli (1650-1718) was one of the most influential Italian mapmakers and was known especially for his globes and atlases. The son of a tailor, Vincenzo was apprenticed to a xylographer (a wood block engraver) at a young age. At fifteen he became a novice in a Franciscan monastery. At sixteen he published his first book, the first of 140 publications he would write in his lifetime. The order recognized his intellectual ability and saw him educated in Venice and Rome. He earned a doctorate in theology, but also studied astronomy. By the late 1670s, he was working on geography and was commissioned to create a set of globes for the Duke of Parma. These globes were five feet in diameter. The Parma globes led to Coronelli being named theologian to the Duke and receiving a bigger commission, this one from Louis XIV of France. Coronelli moved to Paris for two years to construct the King’s huge globes, which are 12.5 feet in diameter and weigh 2 tons.
The globes for the French King led to a craze for Coronelli’s work and he traveled Europe making globes for the ultra-elite. By 1705, he had returned to Venice. There, he founded the first geographical society, the Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti and was named Cosmographer of the Republic of Venice. He died in 1718.