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Description

Sanuto's extremely attractive map of West Africa from the Senegal River to the Cameroon coastline. A highly decorative map, embellished with numerous sea monsters and sailing ships, this work is from one of the most important 16th-century texts on Africa, Sanuto's uncommon Geografia​​​​​​.

The map shows copious detail, with many named regions, rivers, and mountain ranges. The Senegal River is renamed "Canaga Fluvius" with Callum at the mouth. A large forest appears in "Ghineae Nemus." Rare cities are named at the coast.

In all, a very decorative and important early map of the region.

Sanuto's Geografia

What would have been one of the foremost Renaissance works on world geography had it been completed (Skelton, 1964), Sanuto's premature death instead led his Geografia to become a rare but important work on African geography. Having planned to publish his work in four parts, with a part on each of the known continents, Sanuto only ever managed to write his first part. This Primera Parte focused on Africa (following a scholarly and often-referenced discussion of the longitude question and Cabot's role in solving it) and included information from various sources as well as Lafreri School-style maps.

Despite the work's incomplete nature, it remained one of the most referenced contemporary texts on Africa for at least one hundred years, being cited in northern European works as well as Coronelli's 1691 Atlante Veneto. However, its highly academic introduction dissuaded a popular readership, which limited its circulation and it was never translated or reprinted, with only the 1588 edition ever having been created.

Sanuto's maps of Africa compile from many sources and display an acute critical sense. First of all, his trapezoidal projections chosen, echoing Donnus Nicolaus Germanus's Ptolomeic atlases from a hundred years earlier, were uncommon at the time. His maps further show innovation in the reconciliation of a well-known coastline with interior topographical information that draws from several thousand years of at-times conflicting literary knowledge.

The main rival in detailed 16th-century mapping of Africa was Gastaldi's 1564 great map of Africa. In comparing the two, scholars argue that Sanuto was more faithful to his sources, and provided fewer place names but with greater accuracy. 

Sanuto's maps are not only academic achievements but also beautiful engravings typical of late Lafreri School cartography.

Condition Description
Upper left and right margins professionally restored. Small wormhole just into image in lower right and left corners professionally restored.
Livio Sanuto Biography

Livio Sanuto (c.1520-1576), was a Venetian cosmographer, mathematician and maker of terrestrial globes and also belonged to the prestigious Lafreri school of engravers, whose output signalled the transition between the maps of Ptolemy and the maps of Mercator and Ortelius.

Livio nd his brother Giulio, planned a massive and comprehensive atlas to include maps and descriptions of the whole world, which he believed would be more accurate than any previously published. Unfortunately, he died in 1576 having only completed 12 maps of Africa. The 12 maps were eventually published in 1588 by Livio's brother Giulio, under the title "Geografia Di M. Livio Sanuto..." .

In the compliation of this and the other African maps, Sanuto relied on Gastaldi's 1564 map and Portuguese sea charts for the mapping of the coasts and for information about the interior, used accounts by Duarte Barbosa and João de Barros. After its publication in 1588 this work was copied by other leading map makers for nearly a century afterwards.