By: Girolamo Ruscelli
Date: 1574 (published) Venice
Dimensions: 7.4 x 10.25 inches (18.8 x 26.04 cm)
This important Ruscelli map of Tierra Nueva (South America), from his work La Geografia di Claudio Tolomeo Alessandrino, is based on Gastaldi’s earlier map of the same region, dated 1548. The map covers the entire continent and part of Central America, a few islands in the Caribbean are shown, a portion of the west coast of Africa near Guinea is depicted, along with some islands off the west coast.
Eastern South America between the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn yet retains its inaccurate bulge into the Atlantic. Numerous place names follow the configuration of the continent, with nearly all of them along the coastlines. The Straights of Magellan are noted, with just the northern edge of Tierra del Fuego depicted. Inland, the Amazon River system is depicted as running south to north rather than west to east, and the Plata is delineated. The name of the larger area which was first called Santa Cruz and Veracruz, has already been replaced by Terra do Brasil. A number of mountain ranges are included, but the long range of the Andes is represented by a mid-continental range which is much shorter than its true topography. A few Incan cities in Peru Provincia, including Cusco and Caxamalca, are mentioned. There is descriptive Italian text on the verso.
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 obviously an early imprint, with excess ink in places, darkening of the centerfold and some rust spots. Slight separation at top edge of centerfold.
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