BLAEU’S MAP OF THE BAY OF ALL SAINTS, 1662, FROM “THE GREATEST AND FINEST ATLAS EVER PUBLISHED”
[BLAEU, Johannes]. Sinus Omnium Sanctoru[m] Bahia de Todos. [Amsterdam: Johannes Blaeu, 1662]. Original engraving on laid sheet (image measures 20 by 15 inches), handsomely framed (entire piece measures 29-1/2 by 25-1/2 inches). $1400.
Large original hand-colored Blaeu map of the Bahia de Todos Sanctos in Brazil from the famous Atlas Major (1662).
In 1630, Willem Janzzon Blaeu, the official cartographer of the Dutch East India Company, published his first world atlas, the Atlantis Appendix, with 60 maps. A second expanded edition, with 99 maps, appeared in the following year. The ensuing series of Blaeu atlases reached their grand culmination in1662—in the monumental 12-volume Atlas Major, “the greatest and finest atlas ever published” (Koeman). Impressed by “the tremendous coverage of the maps and their innate beauty” the Sultan Mohammed IV, who had been presented with a special set of the Atlas Major, “ordered the text and map legends translated into Turkish” (Brown, Story of Maps, 172-74). All Blaeu maps are embellished in the ornate Baroque style, and many rank among the most beautiful ever made. They “epitomize the ‘golden age of Dutch cartography” (Potter, 41). This splendid map of the Bahia de Todos Sanctos (Bay of All Saints) in Brazil comes from the first Latin edition of the Atlas Major, Volume 11 (America). Handsomely hand-colored, it shows the Bay south along the Atlantic coast from Pernambuco, with a fleet entering from the south. In the bottom corner is a detailed plan of Salvador, founded by the Portuguese in 1549, with a key identifying the main sites. Shirley I, 241. Koeman I, 199-202.