Venice: Vincenzo Coronelli, 1690. unbound. Map. Uncolored engraving. Image measures 23.75" x 17.75"
This decorative map of Corsica features a detailed depiction of the island with elaborate embellishments. Working circa 1696, Coronelli has drawn the coastlines in exacting detail, surrounding them with dark shading that makes the island seem to pop off the page. Coastal rivers, inlets, ports, towns, villages, and smaller islands are labeled in Italian, and mountains and trees are depicted pictorially. In the corners of the map, elegant cartouches attest to the island's beauty. Most elaborate is the title cartouche in the upper left, a large scroll decorated with flowers upon which two men and a dog loll. In the upper right, a draped fabric that bears the map's scales is dressed with two angels, one holding the cross; a coat of arms; and exquisite tassels and plumage. In the lower left, vines encircle a wreath containing the cross of the Genoa flag, and in the lower right, a similar design holds the silhouette that adorns the Corsican flag. The elegant semi-circular Latin text labeling the Mediterranean brings the map's design into harmony---as was characteristic of Coronelli's work, the map is labeled in both Italian and Latin. It appeared in Coronelli's rare "Atlante Veneto," one of the most decorative and ornate atlases of the 17th century. The map is in excellent condition with no chips or tears and full margins. Crisp, dark impression on thick paper. Italian text on verso. Vincenzo Coronelli (1650-1718) was a Franciscan priest and renowned mathematician and cartographer. He was appointed official Cosmographer to the Venetian Republic in 1685 and founded the world's earliest geographic society, L'Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti. He was known best for his globes, which he made for prominent rulers such as Louis XIV and the Duke of Parma. This almost untouched edition of Coronelli's map is a beautiful example of his work.