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Very rare Italian map of Brabant made by Hyeronimus Olgiatus in 1567, and published in Venice by Bolognini Zaltieri (activity : 1550-1580 ).

The map illustrates the region between Bergen-op-Zoom, Breda, Antwerp, Maastricht, Liege and Namur. On top 3 coats of-arms.

Olgiatus's map is a Lafreri School edition of Jacob van Deventer's groundbreaking survey of Brabant, the earliest surviving example of a map based upon a modern trigonometric survey.

The present map represents the synergy of fine art and advanced scientific inquiry of the Late Renaissance era, representing the earliest example of a modern survey of any part of the world. The map depicts the Duchy of Brabant, a traditional constituent of the Holy Roman Empire, and long one of the wealthiest regions of Europe. Home to the court city of Brussels, the great port of Antwerp and the Low Countries' first university (Louvain), it had for centuries been a leading center of manufacturing, trade and academia.

The map embraces the entire province, extending from the rolling hills south of Brussels to the Maas (Meuse) River in the north and east, the Scheldt (Schelde) Estuary in the west. The quality of the engraving is exceptionally fine, depicting every village, with the main towns rising in pictographic relief, and the surrounding topography and forests elegantly distinguished. The upper portion of the map is handsomely adorned with the arms of the Empire, as well as those of the incumbent Spanish regime and the Duchy itself.

The present map represents one of the most important early monuments of scientific surveying in Europe. It was the first of the series of provincial maps of the Netherlands made by Jacob van Deventer (1500/5-75), the first regional maps to be based on systematic triangulated surveys.

Van Deventer studied medicine and philosophy at the University of Louvain, but was soon engaged by the fields of geography and surveying. Upon reading Gemma Frisius's revolutionary work Libellus de locorum describendorum ratione (1533), which described trigonometric surveying techniques, Van Deventer set about surveying Brabant. He completed his manuscript map in 1536, and the accuracy and detail of the work so impressed government officials that, in 1540, Emperor Charles V appointed him 'Imperial Cartographer'. He was subsequently commissioned to conduct similar surveys of all of the provinces of the Low Countries.

Van Deventer's map of Brabant was first published in Antwerp in 1546, making it the first map to be printed in the Low Countries. Sadly, the only known example to survive into modern times was destroyed during World War II.

The Rome map publisher Michele Tramezini acquired a copy of Van Deventer's 1546 original issue, likely through an agent attending the Frankfurt Book Fair. Michele Tramezini ( fl. 1539-62) was one of the leading figures of the Italian 'Lafreri School' of cartography, which was responsible for many of the finest and most influential maps of the sixteenth-century. In 1555, Tramezini produced a magnificent World map, issued in two separate hemispheres. He also issued editions of Van Deventer's other maps of the provinces of the Low Countries, which subsequently became the basis of Gerard De Jode's fine maps of the region, first issued in the 1570s. Tramezini notably also published Fernando Alvares Seco's survey of Portugal (1561), the first printed map of that country.

Tramezini commissioned Jacob Bos ( fl.1549-80), a Dutchman who had become one of the leading fine art engravers in late Renaissance Italy, to produce a new edition of Van Deventer's map of Brabant. The resulting map was first issued in 1556, with a second Tramezini state appearing in 1558.

Tramezini's map was subsequently copied in Venice by Francesco Camocio (1565), Bolognino Zaltieri (1566) and Girolamo Olgiato (1567). 

States of the Map

  1. No publisher's name
  2. Bolognini Zalterij Formis imprint is added to the cartouche.
  3. 1567 date removed


The Oligato map is rare on the market.

Condition Description
Minor foxing.