13 sheets joined (12 map sheets and one title banner along the top edge) (map size: 42 x 57 4/8 inches; framed size: 48 x 83 4/8 inches). Magnificent and extremely rare engraved wall-map, with traces of original hand-colour (expertly restored with only minor loss to the image).
VERY RARE WALL-MAP OF EUROPE, DERIVED FROM GIACOMO GASTALDl'S LANDMARK MAP OF THE WORLD, PUBLISHED IN 1561.
Engraved by Stefano Scolari, “who lived in the Street San Zulian in Venice at the end of the 16th century. From other maps he is known to have worked for Donato Bertelli, but was apparently also a cartographical publisher for his own account... The only other large 16th century map of Europe mentioned as forming part of the set of the four continents in the Museo Correr in Venice is defective and does obviously not comprise the sheet where Scolari's signature appears on the present map. It may even be a variant edition, since Caraci speaks of a dedication which is not found here.
“Europe is presented in Mercator's projection, but gives a fairly good idea of the form of the continent and is crowded with place names. Besides a great quantity of ships pictured on the surrounding seas, Scolari has embellished the space of the Atlantic with a beautiful representation of Philip II of Spain as ruler of the waves, driving in a chariot-like boat which is drawn by two horses” (Harry Ransom Center online). Caraci, Tab. Geog. Vet., II, pp. 37-38.
Giacomo Gastaldi was "Cosmographer to the Venetian Republic, then a powerhouse of commerce and trade. [Gastaldi] sought the most up to date geographical information available, and became one of the greatest cartographers of the sixteenth century" (Burden). Giacomo Gastaldi was, and styled himself, 'Piemontese', and this epithet appears often after his name. Born at the end of the fifteenth or the beginning of the sixteenth century, he does not appear in any records until 1539, when the Venetian Senate granted him a privilege for the printing of a perpetual calendar. His first dated map appeared in 1544, by which time he had become an accomplished engineer and cartographer. Karrow has argued that Gastaldi's early contact with the celebrated geographical editor, Giovanni Battista Ramusio, and his involvement with the latter's work, “Navigationi et Viaggi”, prompted him to take to cartography as a full-time occupation. In any case Gastaldi was helped by Ramusio's connections with the Senate, to which he was secretary, and the favourable attitude towards geography and geographers in Venice at the time.