XOT330951 Northern Europe, from an Atlas of the World in 33 maps, Venice, 1st September 1553 (ink on vellum) (see also 330952) by Agnese, Battista (1514-64); 29x49 cm; Museo Correr, Venice, Italy; Italian,  out of copyright

The Art of Mapping

Take a closer look at the wonderful world of maps through history.

More than simply a topological survey of a country or continent, historical maps are as diverse as the lands they depict. From hunting dogs to sea monsters and cherubs blowing the winds across the ocean, their creativity makes them artworks in their own right.

 

Perspective plan of Venice (detail) (oil on panel), Italian School / Louvre, Paris, France / Cameraphoto Arte Venezia
Perspective plan of Venice (detail) (oil on panel), Italian School / Louvre, Paris, France / Cameraphoto Arte Venezia

 

A subjective view of the world

Before the invention of adequate measuring tools, maps were merely symbolic representations based on religious beliefs and political powers in place at the time of the commissioning. One of the first maps to translate the spherical representation of the world onto a flat surface is this map by Enrico Martello. It is thought to have been used by Christopher Columbus.

Discover more maps around the globe

One of the earliest detailed maps of Great Britain extant, by Matthew Paris, c.1250 (vellum) British Library
One of the earliest detailed maps of Great Britain extant, by Matthew Paris, c.1250 (vellum) British Library

 

World Map (vellum), English School, (13th century) / British Library
World Map (vellum), English School, (13th century) / British Library

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  1. Pingback: The Art of Cartography: Maps designed by people who never saw the globe – bridgeman blog

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