Fascinating chart of the Atlantic Ocean and the contiguous coastlines of America, Europe and Africa, by Vincenzo Maria Coronelli, one of the most important map makers of the late 17th century.
The map provides a detailed treatment of the Atlantic Coastlines of America, crediting the initial discovery of America to Antonio Zeno of Venice. The publication of the map coincided with a period where the credibility of Zeno's supposed discovery was at a high point, following its earliest reports over 100 years earlier.
The coastal features of America are identified in fine detail, with more than 100 place names identified and dozens of coastal rivers shown.
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.