Historical Maps

From the XNUMXth century onwards, the historical cartography of Brazil began with the first representations that form part of the planispheres or maps of the Americas in the editions of Geography by Ptolemy and in the works of travellers.

These representations of Brazil have illustrations of indigenous scenes, fauna and vegetation, information obtained, at first, through Américo Vespúcio, who accompanied the first Portuguese expeditions to the Brazilian territory, and, later, through travelers and navigators.

The cartography of this period also registers the first denominations of the country: Terra de Santa Cruz, Terra Incógnita, Antropófilos, Terra dos Papagaios and Brasil. They are maps produced by cartographers such as Ruysch, Waldseemüller, Ortelius, Ruscelli, Forlani, Gastaldi and Hulsius. Still in the XNUMXth century, the concern with the onslaughts of the French on the Brazilian coast begins.

Examples of these episodes can be found in Gastaldi's maps, exposing the barter between French navigators and Brazilian indigenous people, and in the works of the religious and cosmographer André Thevet, who accompanied Nicolas Durand de Villegagnon at the time he was in Rio de Janeiro, with the founding of the France Antártica colony.

Between 1580 and 1640, Portugal was part of the Iberian Union, under the Philippine dynasty.

Thus, all Portuguese colonies also belonged to the Spanish Crown, which favored the presence of French, English and Dutch on the north and northeast coast of Brazil.

To defend the Iberian domains in America, the Philippine Crown made it possible for the Luso-Brazilians to exceed the limits established by the Treaty of Tordesillas, advancing towards the Amazon delta.

These conquests are recorded in the Portuguese cartography of the XNUMXth century, by the notable astronomers Cochado and Albernaz I, showing the built fortresses and founded cities, in addition to indicating the destroyed English and Dutch fortifications.

Still referring to the XNUMXth century, Portuguese handwritten cartography is on display, with letters by Antônio Vicente Cochado, Antônio Sanches, João Teixeira Albernaz I and his grandson João Albernaz II.

All maps detail toponyms located on the coast with richness, from Belém to the River Plate.

However, the map of Brazil by Albernaz II (1666) deserves to be highlighted because, in addition to having, like the others, a large number of toponyms on the Brazilian coast, it highlights the city of São Paulo and, in the south of the territory, the Jesuit missions.

I could not fail to show the beautiful Dutch cartography of northeastern Brazil, between 1624-1654.

The map, Perfect Caerte der Gelegentheyt van Olinda de Pharnambuco Maurits-stadt ende t'Reciffo and made by Cornelis Golijath, is considered the best cartographic production under Dutch rule in northeastern Brazil.

In the 1957th century, an outline is presented on the exploration of the interior of Brazil by Luso-Brazilians, which is part of the set “Cartas Sertanistas” (Cortesão, 1971-XNUMX).

These drafts, existing in the National Library, indicate Jesuit missions destroyed by sertanistas and/or bandeirantes and paths in search of mineral riches in the interior of Brazil.

Still from the XNUMXth century, there is also French cartography that comes to predominate in this period with the foundation of the Royal Academy of Sciences by Colbert and with the construction of the astronomical observatory in Paris.

Among the chosen cartographers, Guillaume de L'Isle and Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville stand out, author of one of the best XNUMXth-century maps representing South America.

Guillaume de L'Isle's notoriety is due to the fact that he observed errors by the Portuguese in calculating the longitudes of Brazil.

Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of France, Guillaume de L'Isle, in 1720, noticed that the Portuguese calculations surpassed the Portuguese domains in South America according to the Treaty of Tordesillas.

As is known, the Iberian Crowns sought a solution to the question of the borders of their domains in South America.

The result of these negotiations was the Treaty of Madrid, signed in January 1750.

Part of the exhibition is one of the original copies of the Mapa das Cortes, a cartographic document that served as the basis for the treaty.

Thus, mixed commissions were formed to survey and demarcate the borders of the North and South regions of South America. Portugal and Spain hired specialists (cosmographers, astronomers, military personnel and other categories) from several European nations to carry out such tasks.

From these works, a significant amount of cartographic documents were elaborated (maps, views, reports, diaries).

The exhibition exposes part of this collection produced by the members of these mixed commissions on the Portuguese side.

The 1817th century begins with two pages of the manuscript atlas Guia dos Caminhantes, made by Anastácio de Santana, in Salvador (XNUMX).

The first, title page, contains geographic data and a panoramic view of the city of Salvador.

The second is a map of Brazil with north facing the right bank. In addition to being didactic, this atlas represents one of the first initiatives to map Brazil.

During this period, cartographic production grew. Maps of provinces and the national territory, topographic plans, hydrographic surveys of rivers, the Amazon and Plata basins and border maps are composed.

In the 1th century, after resolving several border issues over four centuries, and with the national territory already configured, the script ends with the Geographical Map of Brazil, on a 7.500.000:1922 scale, published by the Clube de Engenharia, in XNUMX , in commemoration of the centenary of the Independence of Brazil.

This map is a reduction of the map of Brazil in the International Map of the World to the Millionth, made according to the international standards established at the International Congress of Geography, in Paris, in 1913.

Map of Recife from 1764
Historical Maps

Map of Recife from 1764

1764 Map of Recife This beautiful map shows the area around Recife (Pernambuco), extending northwards to include Olinda. There are soundings, anchorages and rocks shown, along with various navigation notes. On land, forts, batteries and the road between Pernambuco and Olinda are shown. […]

Map of Recife from 1679
Historical Maps

Map of Recife from 1679

Map of Recife from 1679 Rare aerial view of the city of Recife and its surroundings, highlighting the Dutch fortifications. Although initially founded by the Portuguese, the Dutch decided to invade several cities in Pernambuco due to the local sugar cane industry. From 1630 to 1654 the Dutch controlled the city of Recife, […]

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