Mercator Atlas - Codex Donaueschingen

Alternate Titles:

Mercatoratlas, Mercator-Weltatlas

Facsimile edition
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Codiology

Alternate Titles

Mercatoratlas
Mercator-Weltatlas

Type
Extent / Format

258 pages / 45.0 x 33.0 cm

Origin
Date
1585 the first part; 1589 the second part; 1595 the third part
Style
Genre
Language
Artist / School

Gerhard Mercator (1512 - 1594)
His son Rumold Mercator

Illustrations

58 colourized double-page maps

Short description

The primary work of cosmography of the 16th century: the famous atlas by Gerhard Mercator from the year 1595! The work of the “Ptolemy of his time” is made impressively understandable in this comprehensive cartographic document. The presentation of the world in great overview maps as well as detailed depictions of individual countries and regions conveys the world in the 16th century, the period of trailblazing geographic discoveries. What is more, Gerhard Mercator’s famous Atlas is unsurpassed in its precision and gorgeous aesthetic!

Facsimile editions available

Description

Mercator Atlas

The primary work of cosmography of the 16th century: the famous atlas by Gerhard Mercator from the year 1595! The work of the “Ptolemy of his time” is made impressively understandable in this comprehensive cartographic document. The presentation of the world in great overview maps as well as detailed depictions of individual countries and regions conveys the world in the 16th century, the period of trailblazing geographic discoveries. What is more, Gerhard Mercator’s famous Atlas is unsurpassed in its precision and gorgeous aesthetic!

The Ptolemy of the 16th century

This historically significant gem is housed to this day in the Princely Fürstenberg Court Library at Donauschingen: a wonderfully colored edition of the famous Mercator Atlas of 1595. This work made its author an unforgettable historical figure: Gerhard Mercator (1512-1594), the famous Renaissance man. He was also known as a cosmographer, theologian, and philosopher, nonetheless he attained his lasting fame as a geographer and cartographer. Many even call him the “Ptolemy of his time”!

A Milestone of Cartography

Mercator’s Atlas sive cosmographicae meditationes de fabrica mundi et fabricati figura was completed and published in 1595. Gerhard’s son Rumold took over the ambitious project after the death of his father shortly before it was completed. Thus, Gerhard Mercator was not able to experience the success of his life’s work, which would soon become the primary work of 16th century cosmography. The Mercator Atlas served rich and important collectors – numerous crowned heads and important historical personalities among them – those interested in cosmography, as well as seafarers as a practical resource.

Precision and Aesthetic

The Mercator Atlas collects a total of 58 splendidly colored maps, each spanning a double page, on 258 pages measuring 45 x 33 cm. These are not only of the highest geographical precision, but also have lavish artistic décor. Large vignettes and numerous informative inscriptions wonderfully gentrify the brightly designed map. Additionally, four gorgeous title pages can be found in the Atlas, among them is the allegorical figure of the atlas, which holds the globe in its hands. From large overview maps of the world and continents to detailed depictions of individual countries and regions, this milestone of geography is a comprehensive picture of the globe and the abandonment of the medieval worldview!

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