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Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Map of the Day: La Descrittione Della Prima Parte dell'Asia, Il Disegno della Seconda Parte dell'Asia, Il Disegno della Terza Parte dell'Asia. Gastaldi, Giacomo (c. 1500-1566) and Girolamo Olgiato.
THE BEST SIXTEENTH CENTURY MAPS OF ASIA
Dimensions: Each approx. 21" x 30"
Giacomo Gastaldi was the most celebrated Italian cartographer of the sixteenth century. He was also one of the first true professionals in that field in the sense that - unlike most contemporary cartographers who frequently filled multiple roles, acting as publishers and/or engravers - Gastaldi specialized in the drafting and design of maps, only rarely becoming involved in the technical aspects of their commercial distribution.
Part one of the three Gastaldi maps of Asia was published in 1559 and covered the geographical area of Turkey and the Middle East. Only two years later Lafreri published his version of the map and in 1570 the Venetian engraver Girolamo Olgiato produced a very close copy of the Lafreri edition.
The published travels of Marco Polo, that had appeared in Ramusio's Navigationi et viaggi (see no. 52), governed Gastaldi's rendering and the geography of this map is considered to be far superior to all previous maps of Asia.
In 1570 Girolamo Olgiato published a reengraving of this map and incorporated the additions that had been made in Forlani's 1565 edition. The Philippine Islands are now visible in their entirety. The map covers the geographical area of India to Japan and China to the East India Islands.
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