By: Jan Jansson
Date: 1640 (circa) Amsterdam
Original Size: 19 x 22 inches (48 x 55.5 cm)
This is a fine print reproduction of an important, decorative map of the South American continent. The coastlines are well detailed but the interior is filled with spurious information. Terra del Fuego is shown as an island and not part of a great southern continent as is the case in earlier maps. Several rivers (including the Amazon and Paraguay) all have their source in the Lago de los Xarayes. The mythical Parime Lacus dominates the interior of Guyana where the fabled "Golden City," of Manoa or el Dorado lies on its Western shore.
The map is richly embellished with ships and sea monsters in the oceans and vignettes of villages and animals on the continent, some of which include fisherman smoking their catch on a canoe in the South Atlantic, a European meeting the Giants of Patagonia, tribes at war in Brazil, wild wart hogs, jungle cats, and tortugas. The large title cartouche at lower right features indigenous animals and natives in their traditional garb.
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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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