By: Boris Artsybasheff
Date: 1944 (published) New York
Original Size: 20.5 x 14.5 inches
This is a reproduction of an impactful world map by renowned mid-20th century artist Boris Artsybasheff. The map was made to provide illustration for an article on tropical diseases. The image that was produced is nothing short of chilling.
The use of ominous pictorial symbols for 15 diseases, combined with the size and location of the symbols on the map, effectively communicate the danger and urgency of the problem. The map is completely void of any topographic detail or political boundaries. No cities, states, or countries are listed. Black land compliments the dark blue ocean and provides a heightened contrast to regions afflicted by Malaria, represented in bright pink.
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What can be referred to as modern cartography has been around for over 550 years. Throughout that time an enormous amount of new land was discovered, cities were founded while others perished. International trade and travel became the norm, political borders were ever-changing, and numerous wars were waged. With all that being said, hundreds of thousands of maps were created that show such events and episodes in time.
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