VINCENZO CORONELLI, PUBLISHED 1690
Image Size: 23 3/4" X 17 3/4"
A beautiful rare map with rich colour of the North Pole and and the Arctic Cirle from one of the 17th century most talented cartographers.
The work of Coronelli is often deemed important not only for its stylistic virtuosity but also for his depiction of the world using the most up to date information. As such, Coronelli’s talent was first witnessed when he constructed a globe 5 feet in diameter for the Duke of Parma in 1678. This work would lead to his being commissioned by Louis XIV to construct a pair of globes in 1681. This commission would allow him access to important cartographic information from french explorers especially those concerning New France and North America in general. With the completion of these globes, Coronelli’s reputation was cemented, and demand grew for his work.
After his return from France, Coronelli founded the Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti, in 1684, the world’s first geographic society, whose function, it is said, was to promote his works.
This particular rare map of the Arctic is interesting as it indicates the areas discovered by early explorers such as Henry Hudson, William Baffin, John Davis, and Willem Barentsz. Interestingly, Coronelli also mentions Herico Russo’s (Erik the Red) discovery of Greenland in 982, as well as the Norse departure from the area in 1379. However, what is most peculiar is the reference to the Venetian Antonio Zeno’s discovery of the Labrador region in 1390 prior to all other discoveries in North America. This was based on a set of letters and a map published 1558 by one of Zeno’s descendant, which was later determined to be a hoax.
(Sources:North America’s First Contact: Norse-Inuit Relations Anatolijs Venovcevs)