BOSCHINI, Marco (1613-1678). L'Arcipelago. Con tutte le Isole, Scogli secche, e Bassi fondi. Venice: Francesco Nicolini, 1658.
4to., (8 6/8 x 6 2/8 inches). Half-title. Title-page with decorative woodcut border, final blank. Engraved plate of the coat-of-arms of Alessandro Farnese, dedication leaf, and preface leaf, large folding engraved general map of the Greek Archipelago, folding maps of Crete and Negroponte, and 46 full-page maps, that of Schiro with revised map pasted over the original, wood-engraved historiated initials and tailpieces (pale marginal waterstain throughout). 18th-century green morocco backed vinegar marbled paper boards, gilt, red morocco lettering piece, all edges gilt and gauffered (spine a bit worn, upper hinge starting).
First edition of this magnificent little atlas of the Greek archipelago, with maps of most of the islands, including Crete, Megroponte, Rhodes, Myconos, Paros, Naxos, Kos, Patmos, and Lesbos, Mount Athos, the Argolid and the Gulf of Salamis, each accompanied by a short description.The outlines of the individual islands appear to be after those of Bartolomeo dalli Sonetti's Isolario, Venice, 1485. The map of Crete is based on that in Boschini's earlier work Il regno tutto di Candia.
Boschini was a Venetian painter and engraver of the early Baroque period, famously painting The Last Supper for the sacristy of San Girolamo at Venice. Clearly he was also an accomplished engraver, and published several important works: La Carta del Navegar pittoresco, 1660, an encyclopedic work on Venetian artists, presented as a journey through the world of art, giving brief biographies of many of his contemporaries; Le minere della pittura veneziana, 1664 and Le ricche minere della pittura veneziana, 1674, both guides to Venice; I gioieli pittoreschi. Virtuoso ornamento della città di Vicenza (1676), a guide to Vicenza. He was also apparently an art dealer, acting as agent for cardinal Leopoldo de' Medici.
The arms at the front of the book are of Alessandro Farnese, Prince of Palmer (1635-1689), a famous general and naval officer, who was Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands from 1678 until 1682. Some bibliographies call for a first edition of 1654, but this cannot be traced in online library listings. Blackmer 172; Nordenskiold I, 32; Shirley BL T.BOS-2a; cf E. Clutton, "Some seventeenth century images of Crete", Imago Mundi, 34 (1982).