Scarce Homann map of Portugal with a large inset of Brazil. The map is elaborately colored, with several naval battles depicted, a highly ornate cartouche, and other details. The detail in Portugal is extensive, with many rivers, towns, regions, forests, roads, and more all shown. Relief is shown pictorially.
The map of Brazil shows only a minimally colonized land, with a mapped but little populated interior. The thirteen "captaincies" of Brazil are demarcated and named. Numerous cities are named, and inland detail is impressively developed.
Numerous details add to the attractiveness of this map, including images of the various fleets of the Portuguese Empire. Two cartouches are included, one ascribed to the larger map detailing the extent of the empire, and one in the inset map.
Johann Baptist Homann (1663-1724) was a mapmaker who founded the famous Homann Heirs publishing company. He lived his entire life in Bavaria, particularly in Nuremberg. Initially, Johann trained to become a priest before converting to Protestantism and working as a notary.
In 1702, Johann founded a publishing house that specialized in engravings. The firm flourished, becoming the leading map publisher in Germany and an important entity in the European map market. In 1715, Johann was named Imperial Geographer to the Holy Roman Empire by Charles VI and made a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Most importantly for his business, his reputation and contacts gained him imperial printing privileges which protected his publications and recommended him to customers. Johann is best known for this Grosser Atlas ueber die ganze Welt, or the Grand Atlas of the World, published in 1716.
After Johann died in 1724, the business passed to his son, Christoph (1703-1730). Upon Christoph’s early death, the company passed to subsequent heirs, with the name of the company changing to Homann Erben, or Homann Heirs. The firm continued in business until 1848.