By: Girolamo Ruscelli
Date: 1574 (published) Venice
Dimensions: 7.25 x 9.8 inches (18.42 x 24.9) plate imprint size
This fascinating Rusceli map of the world, published posthumously, is based on Gastaldi’s Carta Marina, duplicating his depiction of California and Florida as peninsulas, and showing improvement in many spatial issues. This map in fact is something of a sea chart of the entire world, recalling Venetian portolans.
The northern land masses are depicted as an unbroken continent virtually encircling the entire globe. North America and Asia form one enormous continent, which is also connected to Greenland and ultimately northern Europe. This linking of North America and Europe is unusual but in fact resulted from two cartographical inaccuracies. Gastaldi had depicted Greenland as an elongation of Scandinavia, also seen in Waldseemuller’s world map of 1513. This element combined with the model of North America based on the observations of Verrazona and sanctioned by Munster in 1540, resulted in the ‘logical’ joining of the continents. A large unnamed cape on the east coast of America is believed to be Cape Cod.
The entire map is covered with rhumb lines which connect at nodes, the points at which they (rhumb lines) intersect. Rusceli has positioned these nodes in an eye-catching circular pattern suggesting the roundness of the planet itself, with some nodes on dry land and others at sea.
Girolamo Ruscelli (1500s-1566) was an Italian polymath, humanist, editor, and cartographer active in Venice during the early 16th century. Ruscelli is best known for his important revision of Ptolemy’s Geographia, published posthumously in 1574.
Condition: This map is in A condition presenting a sharp impression on bright, clean paper with full margins on all sides.
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