Maris Pacifici quod vulgo Mar del Zud
A seminal map in the cartography of the Pacific by one the great map makers of the 16th century, and sometime described as "the father of modern cartography". Ortelius's Maris Pacifici was first published in 1590 in his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first world Atlas, and was based on Gerardus Mercator's famous world map of 1569. As such, this map is one of Ortelius's most important works because it was one of the very first maps to depict the Pacific Ocean. The map is also of importance as it was the first map to discern between North and South America separately.
Of interest are the misconceived depictions of Terra Australis Sive Magellanica, a mis-shaped Japan with an unknown Isla de Plata drawn above, an oversized New Guinea, but an altogether overly small drawing of the Pacific Ocean. Yet the depictions of the Pacific Northwest are the most accurate than any prior depictions of the region. In particular California is depicted correctly in a peninsular fashion rather than as an island. It should be noted that the Rio Grande, albeit misplaced, is drawn for the first time.
Enhancing the overall beauty of the map is the wonderful drawing of Magellan's ship the Victoria in full sail with an annotation that has been translated as:
"I it was who first circled the globe, my sails flying. You Magellan, I led to your new-found strait. it was I who circled the world; by right am I called VICTORIA. Mine are the sails and the wings, the prize and the glory, the struggle and the sea."
A truly poetic punctuation to one of the great artistic maps of Western cartography.
(Sources: Burden #74)