Map. Engraving. Image measures 17.5" x 28.5".
This detailed bird's-eye view, published circa 1700, depicts Florence and its immediate surroundings. The Arno river cuts diagonally across the plan from lower left to upper right, where it meets two putti holding a decorative shield. The town's star-shaped fort can also be seen to the far left. Surrounding the central plan are 10 town views, 5 on each side. In addition to typical architectural sights such as Pitti Palace and the Duomo, these views also include cultural and athletic events--such as boxing, boat and horse racing--which were less commonly seen on maps of this period. Two keys in the upper left (1-17) and lower right (1-228) label sites of interest on the map, particularly churches. The map appeared in de Wit's rare town book, "Theatrum Praecipuarum Totius Europae." The map is in fair condition from being framed. Beautiful as is with overall toning, but can easily be cleaned and restored for an extra fee. Frederick de Wit (1629/30--1706) was one of the foremost cartographers and map sellers of the Dutch Golden Age. Based in Amsterdam, he began with a small printing shop in 1654 and soon became internationally known for his city plans and wall maps of the world. His most famous work is the "Theatrum Praecipuarum Totius Europae," published after 1694, which contained 132 plans and views of European and Asian cities. By 1671, he was producing large folio atlases for both his shop and individual patrons that could contain anywhere between 15 and 150 maps. Today, these atlases grace the collections of many museums and institutions as evidence of the vibrant cartographic trade in Amsterdam in the middle- and late-17th century. This striking map is a rare example from this work.
Illustrator: Václav Hollar