An online exhibit from the Bibliotheque nationale, L’Âge d’or des cartes marines: Quand l’Europe découvrait le monde, includes many images of early maps and related illustrations from the late Middle Ages and early modern eras.
Maps are often as much a visual art form as they are a practical tool for navigation. Of particular visual interest are display maps; maps that often used size and beauty to convey messages of regional and social status and power. Magnificent Maps brings together the best surviving examples in order to illustrate their role in early modern Europe and describe the settings in which they were displayed. Most of the maps collected in Magnificent Maps date from the period 1450 to 1800, the heyday of this approach to mapping. offer vivid descriptions of their original settings and examine their dual roles as propaganda and art.
As the first book-length examination of the role of German print culture in mediating Europe's knowledge of the newly discovered people of Africa, South Asia, and the Americas, this work highlights a unique and early incident of visual accuracy and an unprecedented investment in the practice of ethnography. Also available as an ebook.
This is a catalog for an exhibition from the Bibliothèque national. It features color images and analyses of five nautical atlases from the early 14th to the late 17th century. The maps depict regions in Africa, the Americas, and Asia.
On encountering what he called the Indies, the Jesuit Jose de Acosta wrote," Having read what poets and philosophers write of the Torrid Zone, I persuaded myself that when I came to the Equator, I would not be able to endure the violent heat, but it turned out to be otherwise... What could I do then but laugh at Aristotle's Meteorology and his philosophy?" Acosta's experience echoes that of his fellow travellers to the New World, and it is this experience, with its profound effect on Western culture, that Anthony Grafton charts.
It was the age of exploration, the age of empire and conquest, and human beings were extending their reach--and their numbers--as never before. In the process, they were intervening in the world's natural environment in equally unprecedented and dramatic ways. A sweeping work of environmental history, The Unending Frontier offers a truly global perspective on the profound impact of humanity on the natural world in the early modern period.
Maps of the Dieppe school, commissioned for wealthy households rather than for use in navigation, often presented explorers' latest discoveries alongside fantastical creatures and allusions to myth. In 1550 cartographer Pierre Desceliers presented to France's King Henry II one such map, a work of extraordinary beauty and value showing the world as it was known at the time. This map, one of the most important of the Dieppe school, includes descriptions of French attempts to colonize Canada and the conquest of Peru by the Spanish in addition to descriptions of the legendary king Prester John in Ethiopia and a race of Amazons in Russia. The World for a King reproduces this beautiful map at real size in forty-two sections, each accompanied by detailed explanatory notes.