Nice example of Blaeu's map of the province of Guizhou in southern China, published in the middle of the 17th century in Amsterdam.
The map centers on Guiyang ("Queiyang") but is otherwise little populated, like modern-day Guizhou. This far-flung and mountainous region of China is shown with dozens of forts marked along with the military roads connecting them.
Mountains are shown pictorially on the map. Two decorative cartouches are shown. A large, unmapped region, is denoted, in Latin "many dwell in this mountainous region."
Guizhou is a a mountainous region with many ancient fortresses. Gold, silver, lead, and mercury-producing regions are marked with little flags, as are Jesuit missions.
Joan, or Johannes, Blaeu (1596-1673) was the son of Willem Janszoon Blaeu. He inherited his father’s meticulous and striking mapmaking style and continued the Blaeu workshop until it burned in 1672. Initially, Joan trained as a lawyer, but he decided to join his father’s business rather than practice.
After his father’s death in 1638, Joan and his brother, Cornelis, took over their father’s shop and Joan took on his work as hydrographer to the Dutch East India Company. Joan brought out many important works, including Nova et Accuratissima Terrarum Orbis Tabula, a world map to commemorate the Peace of Westphalia which brought news of Abel Tasman’s voyages in the Pacific to the attention of Europe. This map was used as a template for the world map set in the floor of the Amsterdam Town Hall, the Groote Burger-Zaal, in 1655.
Joan also modified and greatly expanded his father’s Atlas novus, first published in 1635. All the while, Joan was honing his own atlas. He published the Atlas maior between 1662 and 1672. It is one of the most sought-after atlases by collectors and institutions today due to the attention to the detail, quality, and beauty of the maps. He is also known for his town plans and wall maps of the continents. Joan’s productivity slammed to a halt in 1672, when a fire completely destroyed his workshop and stock. Joan died a year later and is buried in the Westerkerk in Amsterdam.