Map of the Western Hemisphere from 1592
This copper engraving is part of a remarkable series of publications, illustrating voyages of discovery and voyages of exploration to various parts of the world.
The project was begun by Theodore de Bry of Frankfurt in 1590 and would continue for another 54 years.
They became known collectively as the Grands Voyages (to America and the West Indies) and Petits Voyages (to the East and East Indies). De Bry died after the first six parts of the Grands Voyages were completed.
The project was completed initially by his widow and two sons, Johann Theodore de Bry and Johann Israel de Bry, then by his son-in-law, Matthaus Merian, in 1644.
Focusing on the Spanish possessions in the Americas, this map covers what is now the southern United States all the way to South America.
It was published to accompany the travel accounts of Johann van Stadden and Jean de Lery.
The cartography is drawn from de Bry's own map of Florida and the West Indies after Jacques le Moyne.
However, there is no easily discernible source for the South American cartography, with its southern regions shown very wide but not very domed as in Ortelius's version.
De Bry's extraordinary engraving skill and artistic style are very evident with the large elaborate cartouches, coats of arms, two compass roses, sea monster, Spanish galleon and intricate border.
1592 Map of the Western Hemisphere – Historical Map