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"Utriusque Castiliae nova descriptio" is a beautifully adorned map of Castile, a historical region of Spain, created by Willem Janszoon Blaeu and published in Amsterdam around 1640. The map showcases significant Spanish cities like Zaragoza, Valencia, Alicante, Cartagena, Madrid, Cordoba, Sevilla, Salamanca, Palencia, Segovia, Toledo, Cuenca, and Granada.

As an example of Dutch Golden Age cartography, this map marries scientific accuracy with aesthetic appeal. The geography of Castile is presented in great detail, offering insights into the early 17th-century perception of the region. This detailed depiction of cities, towns, and geographical features provides a fascinating snapshot of Castile's landscape during the time.

Enhancing the map's allure are three decorative cartouches and three large coats of arms. These embellishments are not merely aesthetic; they also convey the political entities and heraldry associated with the region. The coats of arms likely represent the important noble houses or administrative divisions of Castile.

Blaeu, a leading figure in 17th-century cartography, was renowned for his meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail, both of which are evident in this map. His work embodies the precision and artistic flair that characterized Dutch cartography in this period.

Condition Description
Old Color.
Willem Janszoon Blaeu Biography

Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) was a prominent Dutch geographer and publisher. Born the son of a herring merchant, Blaeu chose not fish but mathematics and astronomy for his focus. He studied with the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, with whom he honed his instrument and globe making skills. Blaeu set up shop in Amsterdam, where he sold instruments and globes, published maps, and edited the works of intellectuals like Descartes and Hugo Grotius. In 1635, he released his atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, sive, Atlas novus.

Willem died in 1638. He had two sons, Cornelis (1610-1648) and Joan (1596-1673). Joan trained as a lawyer, but joined his father’s business rather than practice. After his father’s death, the brothers took over their father’s shop and Joan took on his work as hydrographer to the Dutch East India Company. Later in life, Joan would modify and greatly expand his father’s Atlas novus, eventually releasing his masterpiece, the Atlas maior, between 1662 and 1672.