Caspar Vopelius: Map of The Rhine of 1555

HAB R 9 - Herzog August Bibliothek (Wolfenbüttel, Germany)

Alternate Titles:

Vopelius, Rheinkarte Von 1555

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Codiology

Alternate Titles

Vopelius, Rheinkarte Von 1555

Type
Extent / Format

1 card / 155.0 x 54.0 cm

Origin
Date
1555
Style
Genre
Language
Artist / School

Caspar Vopelius

Short description

This exceedingly expensive and rare map derives from the 16th Century and displays the entire Rhineland, from its source in the mountains of Switzerland up to the mouth of the River in the Dutch North Sea. The author of the map is the well-known mathematician, astronomer, and cartographer, Caspar Vopelius. The Map of the Rhine of 1555, which has made Vopelius famous even today, remained the primary model for all European cartographers of the Rhine up until the 18th century.

Facsimile editions available

Description

Caspar Vopelius: Map of the Rhine of 1555

This exceedingly expensive and rare map derives from the 16th Century and displays the entire Rhineland, from its source in the mountains of Switzerland up to the mouth of the River in the Dutch North Sea. The author of the map is the well-known mathematician, astronomer, and cartographer, Caspar Vopelius. The Map of the Rhine of 1555, which has made Vopelius famous even today, remained the primary model for all European cartographers of the Rhine up until the 18th century.

Exact Scale and Splendid Overview

Vopelius’ map of the Rhine offers many new aspects that are special and unique. As a critical example, the map contains many different scales, so that the distances and data can be measured and therefore understood in a variety of ways. Moreover, the map holds uncountable names of cities and places (many named additionally in Latin), Coats of Arms and many Annotations, so that the map serves additionally as a vital document of history, let alone of cartography. Vopelius also added to his map the names of original tribes that inhabited the region at the time of the Romans. The maps teems with historical designations, further information, and of course lovely illustrations; one can find small ships out in the seas, for example. Therefore, the map offers ascetical pleasure to the eye along with its rich historical sources.
With its monumental benchmark measurement of 1:590 000, this map of the Rhine is in a landscape format. The detailed depiction of the entire run of the river is shown, from its sources in the Swiss Canton of Graubünden in the area of Lake Constance(which is wonderfully visualized in the map), all the way through the upper to lower regions of the river, finally ending in the Dutch North Sea. Vopelius oriented his map based on his study of the various sources and maps available to him from other cartographers, mostly from Switzerland and the Netherlands. In its totality and clarity, this map belongs as one the premiere and most beautiful examples of 16th Century Cartography.

Vopelius Masterpiece

This Map of the Rhine was completed by Vopelius (1511-1561) in the year 1555. Mathematician, astronomer, cartographer: he came from the Medebach in the Sauerland. His was simply one of the great thinkers and polymaths of the 1500s, who concerned himself with a wide expanse of academic disciplines. Through his occupations as a Math professor and inventor of many different astronomic instruments, Vopelius accrued a high reputation among his colleagues.
Today he is mostly known for his creation of this very map from 1555. The map was completed for and dedicated to the Council of Cologne. The mass popularity of the map can be confirmed by its usage; Vopelius was asked to make many more editions of the map to supply the demand. Up until the beginning of the 18th Century, Vopelius’ map was the gold standard map for the survey of the Rhineland. Today, a preserved copy finds its home in the ** Herzog-August-Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel**, which is a colored print of the first edition, serving as the highlight of the collection.

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