Map of Brazil from 1671
This splendid map of Brazil, including parts of neighboring countries, was one of 23 maps in this rare account of the Portuguese-Dutch colonial war.
Written by João José de Santa Teresa, known among bibliophiles as Santa Teresa, it is considered one of the most sumptuous works of the XNUMXth century on Brazil.
Santa Teresa, a Portuguese Carmelite, spent twelve years in the Jesuit missions in South America and then returned to Europe where he became librarian at the Jesuit College in Rome.
His account was heavily subsidized by Pedro II of Portugal, and some of the leading artists and engravers of the period, including Antonio Horacio Andreas, were hired to work on the project. It was published by Giacomo Giovanni Rossi.
The map itself is beautifully drawn and provides excellent detail of the coasts of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana from the Rio de la Plata in the south to beyond the mouth of the Amazon River in the north.
Despite how little was known about the interior of Brazil during the period, the interior is filled with mountains, rivers and the fictional Porto dos Reis in Brazil and Lake Parime in Guyana. A large compass rose orients the map with north on the right.
The map is elaborately adorned with two cartouches, a vignette of cannibalism and an allegorical scene with the royal coat of arms of Brazil at the top with two putti holding chains containing Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazon, and Medusa. “Il Regno del Brasile Parte Nobilissima del Mondo Nuovo…”, Santa Teresa, JJ de
Map of Brazil from 1671. Historical Maps of Brazil