"Old Geographical Map - Greece - Graecia Sophiani - Ortelius - Original Map"Original card engraved in 1581.
Nice hand colring.
Explanatory text in French on the back.
Beautiful print of this rare French edition card, finely watercolored.
Very good state.
Sheet format: 61.5 x 43.5 cm
Copper format: 44.5 x 35.5 cm.
Decorative map of Greece by Ortelius also showing Turkey and Asia Minor, with neighboring islands. The map is embellished with a decorative cartouche and a mile scale. Based on Nikolaus Sophianos' map of Greece around 1540, published by Johannes Oporinus in Basel in 1545.
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Ortelius Abraham Ortell (Ortel, Ortels, Ortelius), born April 14, 1527 and died June 28, 1598, was recognized with Gérard Mercator as the “father of our modern geography”. Abraham was twelve years old when his father died. His uncle Jacques van Meteren shared all his affection between his son Emmanuel and his nephew Abraham. While Emmanuel continued his studies of humanities in Tournai and Duffel, his cousin had to abandon those he had just started and begin his apprenticeship in a card engraving workshop. From 1547, he was registered with the guild of Saint-Luc as a map illuminator. He also took over his father's antique business. Each year, Abraham went to Frankfurt where the largest book fair in Europe was held. He bought cards and valuables there, which he sold to his customers. A meeting was to have a great influence on the life of Ortelius. It was in 1554, in Frankfurt, that he met Gerardus Mercator. He had just published his map of Europe, a map which had been a real event in the scientific world of the time. The commercial relationship established between the two men quickly turned into friendship. Mercator, a mathematician, soon communicated his enthusiasm to his young rival. For Ortelius, the path he had mapped out for himself widened towards new ambitions: the map illuminator would henceforth set out to draw them, compose them and bring them together. In 1560 together with Gerardus Mercator, Franz Hogenberg, Philippe Galle and Jan Sadeler, he visited Trier and Lorraine. In Poitiers, travelers stopped in front of the Pierre-Levée, a Druidic monument and engraved their names there. For Ortelius, this seems to be his first signature as a geographer! Back in Antwerp, he gathered his observations and drew his first map. At that time, the great Antwerp shipowners had pharmacies intended to trace the route of the navigators, to predict the directions of the winds and to assess the dangers of loss of ships. The shipowners kept large maps, stored in rolls, real marked routes. It was difficult to read, and impractical to use. Take advantage of the experiences acquired, group the various routes, bring the maps back to a projection unit, present these documents in a manageable format, complete them with the help of the latest discoveries, in a word, compose an atlas, such will be the goal of 'Ortelius. He will do so successfully. The Theatrum orbis terrarum came out of the press on May 20, 1570, printed at the author's expense, at Gilles Coppens' house in Antwerp. The work was dedicated to King Philip II of Spain, and had 53 cards. This book, which had taken several years of intensive work, met a public need. It was, from its inception, a prodigious success. The first edition quickly sold out and in the same year a second Latin edition appeared. In 1571, a third Latin edition and a Flemish edition; the following year, a German edition and a French edition. Mercator spared no praise for his colleague; the two geographers, rivals for glory, were linked by a solid friendship. They were, moreover, of a different genius; the first calculated the coordinates, worked out, organized; the second assembled the materials, improved them and published them with great care. Ortelius not only had the merit of popularizing the study of geography, he sparked new research and, thanks to him, many maps were drawn and published. The Theatrum enjoyed considerable popularity and saw 25 editions during the lifetime of its author; success continued after his death until 1612.