Atlas of Pedro de Texeira

Cod. Min. 46 - Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)

Alternate Titles:

Atlas de Pedro Texeira

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Codiology

Alternate Titles

Atlas de Pedro Texeira

Type
Extent / Format

200 pages / 44.6 x 34.8 cm

Origin
Date
1634
Style
Genre
Language
Patron

Philip IV, King of Spain

Artist / School

Pedro Texeira (1595 - 1662)

Illustrations

88 vividly-coloured pseudo-perspectives of coastal areas, in large scales ranging from about 1:20,000 to 1:100,000, plus several smaller-scale chorographic maps of the Peninsular coast, the whole Iberia and the World

Short description

King Philip IV of Spain commissioned a map series from his royal geographer and cartographer Pedro Texeira in 1634. The Descripción de España y de las Costas y Puertos de sus Reynos was meant to present the Spanish Empire in detail and in its full glory. Wonderfully colored and creatively depicted maps give an overview of the coasts and cities of Spain and the Iberian Peninsula. The world map also give a glimpse of the outstanding cartographic findings and abilities of the significant Spanish court geographer.

Facsimile editions available

Description

Atlas of Pedro de Texeira

In 1634, the Spanish King Philip IV commissioned a map series from his royal geographer and cartographer Pedro Texeira. The Descripción de España y de las Costas y Puertos de sus Reynos was to present the great Spanish power in detail and in its full glory. Gorgeously colored and creatively designed maps give an overview of the coasts and cities of Spain and the Iberian Peninsula. However, a world map offers a glimpse of the outstanding cartographical findings and abilities of the important 17th century Spanish court geographer.

Spain’s Glory in Geographic Format

Already at the beginning of the 17th century, Spain could look back on a grandiose history as a great power. Spain stood at the pinnacle of the great powers of Europe at least since Charles I of Spain was elected Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1519. This supremacy reached its zenith in the 16th century as Spain forged a global empire from colonies on three continents. The slow loss of this prominence began under Philip IV of Spain (1605-1665), who inter alia undertook many wars against the Netherlands, France, and England among others, and summoned Diego Velázquez to court. Spain’s global empire was to once again enjoy great fame in Pedro Texeira’s atlas.

The “Cosmographer” of Two Kings

This Pedro Texeira (1595-1662) was originally a Portuguese cartographer, who came to Spain ca. 1610. There he enjoyed the highest accolades as the royal “cosmographer”. He was the court geographer and cartographer under Kings Philip III (1598-1621) and Philip IV (1621-1665) of Spain and was consequently known in the highest circles. In the years 1622-20, Texeira was occupied with the mapping of the coasts of the Iberian Peninsula. These geographic findings served as the foundation for the Descripción de España y de las Costas y Puertos de sus Reynos, which was dedicated to King Philip IV.

Geographic Information, Amusingly and Artfully Presented

Pedro Texeira collected 88 colored pseudo-perspectives of the Spanish coastal regions on 200 pages in a large format of 1:20,000 to 1:100,000. These were supplemented with a few smaller cartographic maps of the peninsula’s coasts, the whole Iberian Peninsula, and the world. So, in the Atlas of 1634 there are maps of Barra and the harbor of Lisbon or a map of the whole Iberian Peninsula with the surrounding coastal regions. The Mediterranean and Atlantic are populated with delicately painted ships, which sail around the coasts and island, such as the Balearic Islands. The atlas of the coasts and cities of Spain was completed through detailed maps of the land’s interior, some with a description of the Kingdom of Galicia. The exact pen and ink drawing is, like all maps of the geographic compendium, artfully water colored by Pedro Texeira. The mostly double-page maps are encircled with wonderful frames and contain a variety of descriptions, entertaining addendums, or cartographic aids such as a display scale. The reference to King Philip IV, the ruler of the domains depicted, was made apparent through the gorgeous full-page miniature of the royal coat-of-arms against a red background and in an artfully designed frame.

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