The Only Reasonably Obtainable Version of Boazio's View of Drake's Attack on Santo Domingo.
Scarce engraved view of Drake's 1586 attack of Santo Domingo, in the present-day Dominican Republic, based on the famous and highly desirable map by Baptista Boazio.
According to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History:
Five years after leading the first English circumnavigation of the globe in 1577-1580, Sir Francis Drake led a raid against Spanish settlements in the Caribbean including Santiago, Santo Domingo, and Cartagena, as well as St. Augustine (in present-day Florida). . .
The original Boazio illustration was intended to accompany a book describing Drake's 1586 expedition, A Summarie and True Discourse of Sir Francis Drake's West Indian Voyage (published in 1588-1589) .
This map comes from a De Bry publication entitled Grand Voyages, which sought to illustrate the voyages of discovery and travel. This project would continue until 1644 when Matthaus Merian took it over.
The Attack on Santo Domingo
The largest Spanish settlement in the West Indies at the time, Santo Domingo was an important city and a target of English attention. At the start of the Anglo-Spanish War in 1586, Sir Francis Drake attacked the city from the jungle while decoy ships approached the harbor. Drake managed to gain control of the town, looting it and subsequently ransoming it back to the Spanish one month later.
This bird's eye view shows the approach to Santo Domingo through the jungle and the ships at sea. Adorned with a decorative crocodile.
Theodor de Bry (1528-1598) was a prominent Flemish engraver and publisher best known for his engravings of the New World. Born in Liege, de Bry hailed from the portion of Flanders then controlled by Spain. The de Brys were a family of jewelers and engravers, and young Theodor was trained in those artisanal trades.
As a Lutheran, however, his life and livelihood was threatened when the Spanish Inquisition cracked down on non-Catholics. De Bry was banished and his goods seized in 1570. He fled to Strasbourg, where he studied under the Huguenot engraver Etienne Delaune. He also traveled to Antwerp, London, and Frankfurt, where he settled with his family.
In 1590, de Bry began to publish his Les Grands Voyages, which would eventually stretch to thirty volumes released by de Bry and his two sons. The volumes contained not only important engraved images of the New World, the first many had seen of the geographic novelties, but also several important maps. He also published a collection focus on India Orientalis. Les Grands Voyages was published in German, Latin, French, and English, extending de Bry’s fame and his view of the New World.