The great cartographers, engravers and publishers of globes and maps of the 17th century were Dutch, starting with Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638), who started an extraordinarily successful family business. In 1635, Willelm, who was also the official cartographer of the East India Company – the powerful VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische compagnie) that dominated the trade and ‘culture’ of exploration voyages to the East – initiated the publication of the Atlas Novus, an atlas inspired by Ortelius’ updated Theatrum Orbis Terrarum; his son Joan (1596-1673) continued the enterprise with the Atlas Maior, a grandiose work, equally scientific and popular, in 11 volumes and 594 maps, published between 1662 and 1665. The table with the two hemispheres, included in the first volume, shows the north coast of Australia, Hollandia Nova, and the west coast of Zeelandia Nova, New Zealand, the result of explorations by the Dutchman Abel Tasman. This information was already present in a world map made by Willelm in 1654, now in the Vatican Museums.
Project: 9. Travels and travelers: economic, social and cultural connections.
Scope: Secondary Education, Higher Education
Resource type: Image
Source: Blaeu, Willem Janszoon and Blaeu, Joan, Atlas Maior, Nova Et Accvratissima Totius Terrarvm Orbis Tabvla, 1662-5, Volume 1
Language: Latin and English
Owner: Manuela Ghizzoni (Modernalia)
Copyright: Re-use: CC-BY (NLS)
Abstract: The Atlas Maior by Willem Janszoon and Joan Blaeu, updated to the geographical discoveries of the 17th century