Sign In

Forgot Password Create Account

Abraham Ortelius is perhaps the best known and most frequently collected of all sixteenth-century mapmakers. Ortelius started his career as a map engraver. In 1547 he entered the Antwerp guild of St Luke as afsetter van Karten. His early career was as a business man, and most of his journeys before 1560 were for commercial purposes. In 1560, while traveling with Gerard Mercator to Trier, Lorraine, and Poitiers, he seems to have been attracted, largely by Mercator’s influence, towards a career as a scientific geographer. From that point forward, he devoted himself to the compilation his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World), which would become the first modern atlas.

In 1564 he completed his “mappemonde", an eight-sheet map of the world. The only extant copy of this great map is in the library of the University of Basle. Ortelius also published a map of Egypt in 1565, a plan of Brittenburg Castle on the coast of the Netherlands, and a map of Asia, prior to 1570.

On May 20, 1570, Ortelius’ Theatrum Orbis Terrarum first appeared in an edition of 53 maps. By the time of his death in 1598, a total of 25 editions were published including editions in Latin, Italian, German, French, and Dutch. Later editions would also be issued in Spanish and English by Ortelius’ successors, Vrients and Plantin, the former adding a number of maps to the atlas, the final edition of which was issued in 1612. Most of the maps in Ortelius Theatrum were drawn from the works of a number of other mapmakers from around the world; a list of 87 authors is given by Ortelius himself

In 1573, Ortelius published seventeen supplementary maps under the title of Additamentum Theatri Orbis Terrarum. In 1575 he was appointed geographer to the king of Spain, Philip II, on the recommendation of Arias Montanus, who vouched for his orthodoxy (his family, as early as 1535, had fallen under suspicion of Protestantism). In 1578 he laid the basis of a critical treatment of ancient geography with his Synonymia geographica (issued by the Plantin press at Antwerp and republished as Thesaurus geographicus in 1596). In 1584 he issued his Nomenclator Ptolemaicus, a Parergon (a series of maps illustrating ancient history, sacred and secular.) Late in life, he also aided Welser in his edition of the Peutinger Table in 1598.

Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
18 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
45663
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
8.5 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61616
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1579
Size:
19.5 x 13.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
61580

Archived

Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1603
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
35237
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1595
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
37276
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
39006
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1575
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
42139
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
46370
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1603
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
49646
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1595
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
58516
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1589
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
57892
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
43889
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
44111
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
52312
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
34516gm
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
30129
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
32455
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1570
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
36799dr
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1572
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
Good
Stock#:
38002
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1571
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
43892mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1606
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
13641
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1606
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
20830
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
16753
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
19084
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
5910
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
18.5 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG-
Stock#:
7848
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
5 x 3 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
18771
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
18.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9056
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
18.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
17024
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
18.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
22838
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
18.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
44818
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
18.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
47693
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
18.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
54284
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
18.5 x 15 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
59045mp2
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1579
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
13531
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
9059
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1592
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
17023
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1579
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
18314
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1573
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
18882
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
27529
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
32917bp
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1598
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
37506
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1581
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG
Stock#:
45070
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1584
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
48311
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
54058
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1574
Size:
19 x 14 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
60329
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1601
Size:
5 x 3.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
28531
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1609 circa
Size:
17 x 13 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
32662bp
Place/Date:
Antwerp / 1587
Size:
9 x 12.5 inches
Condition:
VG+
Stock#:
20390