Striking antique engraved map of the north part of Italy, showing the region north of Florence and Siena all the way to parts of Switzerland and Austria, by Matthaus Merian. Detail includes many cities, towns, rivers, lakes, and more. Relief is shown pictorially.
The map includes four coats of arms showing the powerful city-states of northern Italy. The leftmost winged lion is the symbol of Venice, to its right is the symbol of Milan, to its right is an (inverted) coat of arms of Genoa, and the rightmost is the coat of arms of Mantua.
Mathaus Merian (1593-1650) was the father of engraver Matthäus the Younger, and of the painter, engraver, and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian. He was born in Basel, Switzerland and trained in engraving in Zurich. After a time in Nancy, Paris and Strasbourg, he settled in Frankfurt. While there, he worked for Johann Theodor de Bry, the publisher and son of the travel writer. In 1617, he married Maria Magdalena de Bry, Johann Theodor’s daughter. In 1623, Merian took over the de Bry publishing house upon the death of his father-in-law. Merian’s best known works are detailed town views which, due to their accuracy and artistry, form a valuable record of European urban life in the first half of the sixteenth century