An Important SlaveTrading Center in Portuguese Angola
Fine image of the town and harbor of Luanda, published in Frankfurt by Merian.
Luanda was established as a settlement in January 1576 as São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, by Portuguese explorer Paulo Dias de Novais. The city served as the center of the slave trade to Brazil before its prohibition. Portuguese operated the town as a center for slave trade from 1550 to 1836, except for a brief perod of Dutch rule (640 to 1648), when the town was known as Fort Aardenburgh.
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