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Russia, by Claes Jansz. Visscher, after Hessel Gerritsz.

This map is inspired by Hessel Gerritsz.' map from 1613. The cartouche with the dedication was newly designed. The Russian double eagle above the cartouche has disappeared to make place for a group of men in Russian costume. The view of Archangel'sk and the three figures on Gerritsz.' map are now replaced by five new pictures which were possibly etched by Pieter Hendricksz. Schut. Some geographical amplifications and corrections have taken place.

In the 1630's there was a sudden surge of interest in Russian maps and various publishers turned to Gerritsz' map of 1613 as the most up-to-date work. Some cartographers used Gerritsz' map as a pattern but brought it up-to-date with various corrections. One of the first of these was Claes Jansz. Visscher. His first edition was dated 1634.


The Visscher Family

For nearly a century, the members of the Visscher family were important art dealers and map publishers in Amsterdam.

Claes Jansz. Visscher, or N.J. Piscator (1587-1652)

Claes Jansz. Vischer bought a house in Amsterdam, 'de gulden Bors', on the important Kalverstraat and changed the name into "In de Visscher" and it was under this title that the shop was to flourish for many years.
He was famous for his engravings and etchings of Dutch landscape and of 'historical scenes', such as sieges, battles, etc. These 'historical scenes' were considered as contemporary illustrated news items, especially, e.g., that of 'the Eighty Years' War'.
For the publication of his first atlas, he bought copperplates of the atlas Germania Inferior by Pieter van den Keere (1623).
In 1649, he published an atlas entitled Tabularum Geographicarum Contractarum, containing the same maps as Langenes' Caert Thresoor, for which Visscher had only new title-pages engraved.
Claes Jansz. Visscher died in 1652. His wife, Neeltjen Florisdr., had already died in 1640. They had seven children, four of whom were still alive at Claes Jansz.'s death. One of them was Nicolaes Visscher I, who was to continue his father's business.

Nicolaes Visscher I (1618-1679)

Nicolaes Visscher I entered into partnership with his father and continued the busines and stayed on the Kalverstraat 'in de Visscher' till his death.
About 1657, the first edition appeared of his Atlas Contractus Orbis Terrarum.
Between 1664 and 1677, several editions of his Atlas Contractus appeared without a printed index, for these atlases had no fixed contents, but were composed according to the buyer's financial leaping-pole.
In May 1664, Nicolaes Visscher was admitted as a member of the Booksellers' Guild of his town. In July 1677, he was granted a patent of the States of Holland and West-Friesland for the printing and publishing of maps and atlases for a period of 15 years.
After this, he again published an Atlas Contractus, this time with a printed index. At about the same time, he also brought out an Atlas Minor.

Nicolaes Visscher II (1649-1702)

Nicolaes Visscher II inherited the 'shop' from his father. To obtain a new privilegio he applied to the States of Holland and West-Friesland in 1682, for a patent for printing and publishing maps. This patent was granted to him the same year. He moved the firm to the Dam, but it kept the same sign-board: "In de Visscher".
Around 1683, he published his first Atlas Minor with a printed index of 91 maps. In 1684, an atlas Germania Inferior appeared. Till 1697 he published another number of atlases. He used his grandfather's (Claes Jansz.) maps less often now and relied more and more on his own.
The wars waged in this time initiated the compilation of maps of the countries where the armies were operating. Many maps of war were included in the various editions of his Atlas Minor.
After Nicolaes' death, his wife, Elizabeth Verseyl, published all the maps of war in the form of an atlas under the title: De Stoel des Oorlogs in de Wereld (The seat of war in the world).

The widow of Nicolaes Visscher II (?-1726)

His widow continued the business energetically, and by her hand, under the name of her deceased husband, numerous atlases appeared, e.g., several editions of the Atlas Minor, an Atlas Maior and De Stoel des Oorlogs. The shop enjoyed a high reputation owing to the great variety of the assortment. Not only 'Visscher' maps, but also maps of other publishers were obtainable. With the death of Elizabeth Verseyl, in 1726, the last descendant died of a great map- and atlas-publishing firm in Amsterdam.


Hessel Gerritsz. (1580/81 – 1632)

Hessel Gerritsz. was one of the most influential and innovative map makers of the seventeenth century. He was born in Assum in North Holland and went to school in Alkmaar. He must have known Willem Jansz. (= Willem Blaeu) who stayed in Alkmaar for several years. Later he moved to Amsterdam for his further education.
After the closing of the Scheldt River, Amsterdam’s competitor was cut off, so that Amsterdam was able to take over the function of world trade centre. Flourishing Amsterdam offered plenty of work and exercised a great attraction for the craftsmen from the Southern Netherlands. The two dominating publishers in the cartographical field were Cornelis Claesz. and Jodocus Hondius both from the Southern Netherlands. Hessel Gerritsz. was trained in the graphic trade by David Vingboons, a painter and artist who also came from the Southern Netherlands.
After his apprenticeship with David Vingboons, Hessel Gerritsz. continued his schooling in the publishing house of Willem Jansz. (Blaeu). There he was able to perfect his etching style and was given the mathematical skills which would be so useful to him later, and he learnt the trade of mapmaking. Together with the engraver Josua van den Ende he was responsible for the engraving of the superb wall map of the Seventeen Provinces (1608). Van den Ende engraved the map image while Hessel Gerritsz. took care of the decorative borders and the decorations on the main map.
During his activities for Willem Jansz. Hessel Gerritsz. not only perfected his etching and engraving style but received the geographical and mathematical education which would stand him in good stead in later years. He could wish for no better cartographical school. Blaeu’s workshop was a sort of repository where geographical information from all parts of the world came together.
Hessel Gerritsz. married in 1607 to Geertje Gijsbertdr. One of his children, Gerrit, born in 1609, was to follow in his father’s footsteps. Shortly after his marriage, he established himself as an independent engraver, mapmaker and printer.
Hessel Gerritsz. regularly worked with Claes Jansz. Visscher as well. They co-operated for a long time.
His artistic talent comes to the fore in his map of the Leo Belgicus, depicting the Seventeen Provinces in the shape of a lion. This was seen as a symbol of the courage and persistence of the Dutch provinces in their resistance against Spanish tyranny.
In the years 1612-13 Hessel Gerritsz. was intensively busy with publications about Russia. In 1612, the influential booklet Beschryvinghe vander Samoyeden Landt appeared by him. The two chapters about Siberia were provided by Isaac Massa, who had lived in Moscow for nine years. With the aid of original Russian material Gerrritsz. was able to produce a series of three maps in folio format: a map of Russia and town plans of Moscow and the Kremlin. He also made a new important wall map of Lithuania and engraved it on four plates for Willem Blaeu. In the meantime, he also made a wall map and a folio map of Spain.
Next to these works undertaken on his initiative, Hessel Gerritsz. also accepted engraving and publishing tasks for third parties.
In 1617, Hessel Gerritsz. published a large wall map of Italy in six sheets. He gave his wall map an extra cachet by extending the map image with town views and costumed figures. The map was copied shortly after publication by Willem Blaeu. To protect himself against such plagiarism in the future, he requested a patent from the States-General. In January 1618, they granted him a general license in which amongst other things it was forbidden in any way to reproduce, copy or distribute his maps, both written or printed.
Hessel Gerritsz. was so highly regarded in 1617, that he received such an extraordinary privilege. He was appointed as instructor in geography for the Councillors of the Admiralty at Amsterdam and as mapmaker for the Chamber Amsterdam of the VOC. With both appointments, his old employer Willem Blaeu was passed over. In his function of mapmaker of the VOC, he was able to improve and expand the charts for the navigation to and from the Indies. The chart maker, of course, did not draw the charts needed for the VOC ships himself. He manufactured specific prototypes, the so-called leggers, (master charts) which served as models for copying work by his assistants in his house.
At the beginning of September 1632, Hessel Gerritsz. died at the age of 52. He must be considered one of the most comprehensive map makers of his time. “He was multi-disciplined in his method of working, integrating graphical technique and artistic expression in his scientific approach. Because of his mathematical talent, he was able to solve nautical problems and make proposals about them. His exceptional network – the interviews with pilots from the diverse companies, as well as his correspondence with persons at home and abroad – supplied him with a huge amount of geographical and nautical information that he used most efficiently. His good contacts with the families of the great merchants and ship owners and the representatives of the influential regents opened doors for him. He was, without doubt, the most informed person in geographical matters in Amsterdam of his time.” (Schilder)

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Tabula Russiae ex Mandato Foedor Borissowits Delineata ... - C.J. Visscher - Hessel Gerritsz, 1651 or later.

€2650  ($3100.5 / £2385)
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Item Number:  27472  new
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Eastern Europe
References: Schilder 9 - p.173-175, Ill. 6.35 State 3; Bagrow (Russia) - II, 58-62 (fig. 31)

Old, antique map of Russia, by Claes Jansz. Visscher, after Hessel Gerritsz.

With inset plan of Moscow and 5 city views.

Cartographer: Hessel Gerritsz

Date of the first editon: 1634
Date of this map: 1651 or later.

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 43 x 54.5cm (16.8 x 21.3 inches)
Verso: Blank
Condition: Original coloured, light age-toned, some offsetting.
Condition Rating: A
References: Schilder 9, p.173-175, Ill. 6.35 Third state; Bagrow (Russia), II, 58-62 (fig. 31); .

From: Atlas Contractus Orbis Terrarum Praecipuas ac Novissimas Complectens Tabulas. Amsterdam, N. Visscher, 1656-77. (Koeman III, Vis5-8)
This third state was also included in various atlases factice.

This map is inspired by Hessel Gerritsz.' map from 1613. The cartouche with the dedication was newly designed. The Russian double eagle above the cartouche has disappeared to make place for a group of men in Russian costume. The view of Archangel'sk and the three figures on Gerritsz.' map are now replaced by five new pictures which were possibly etched by Pieter Hendricksz. Schut. Some geographical amplifications and corrections have taken place.

In the 1630's there was a sudden surge of interest in Russian maps and various publishers turned to Gerritsz' map of 1613 as the most up-to-date work. Some cartographers used Gerritsz' map as a pattern but brought it up-to-date with various corrections. One of the first of these was Claes Jansz. Visscher. His first edition was dated 1634.


The Visscher Family

For nearly a century, the members of the Visscher family were important art dealers and map publishers in Amsterdam.

Claes Jansz. Visscher, or N.J. Piscator (1587-1652)

Claes Jansz. Vischer bought a house in Amsterdam, 'de gulden Bors', on the important Kalverstraat and changed the name into "In de Visscher" and it was under this title that the shop was to flourish for many years.
He was famous for his engravings and etchings of Dutch landscape and of 'historical scenes', such as sieges, battles, etc. These 'historical scenes' were considered as contemporary illustrated news items, especially, e.g., that of 'the Eighty Years' War'.
For the publication of his first atlas, he bought copperplates of the atlas Germania Inferior by Pieter van den Keere (1623).
In 1649, he published an atlas entitled Tabularum Geographicarum Contractarum, containing the same maps as Langenes' Caert Thresoor, for which Visscher had only new title-pages engraved.
Claes Jansz. Visscher died in 1652. His wife, Neeltjen Florisdr., had already died in 1640. They had seven children, four of whom were still alive at Claes Jansz.'s death. One of them was Nicolaes Visscher I, who was to continue his father's business.

Nicolaes Visscher I (1618-1679)

Nicolaes Visscher I entered into partnership with his father and continued the busines and stayed on the Kalverstraat 'in de Visscher' till his death.
About 1657, the first edition appeared of his Atlas Contractus Orbis Terrarum.
Between 1664 and 1677, several editions of his Atlas Contractus appeared without a printed index, for these atlases had no fixed contents, but were composed according to the buyer's financial leaping-pole.
In May 1664, Nicolaes Visscher was admitted as a member of the Booksellers' Guild of his town. In July 1677, he was granted a patent of the States of Holland and West-Friesland for the printing and publishing of maps and atlases for a period of 15 years.
After this, he again published an Atlas Contractus, this time with a printed index. At about the same time, he also brought out an Atlas Minor.

Nicolaes Visscher II (1649-1702)

Nicolaes Visscher II inherited the 'shop' from his father. To obtain a new privilegio he applied to the States of Holland and West-Friesland in 1682, for a patent for printing and publishing maps. This patent was granted to him the same year. He moved the firm to the Dam, but it kept the same sign-board: "In de Visscher".
Around 1683, he published his first Atlas Minor with a printed index of 91 maps. In 1684, an atlas Germania Inferior appeared. Till 1697 he published another number of atlases. He used his grandfather's (Claes Jansz.) maps less often now and relied more and more on his own.
The wars waged in this time initiated the compilation of maps of the countries where the armies were operating. Many maps of war were included in the various editions of his Atlas Minor.
After Nicolaes' death, his wife, Elizabeth Verseyl, published all the maps of war in the form of an atlas under the title: De Stoel des Oorlogs in de Wereld (The seat of war in the world).

The widow of Nicolaes Visscher II (?-1726)

His widow continued the business energetically, and by her hand, under the name of her deceased husband, numerous atlases appeared, e.g., several editions of the Atlas Minor, an Atlas Maior and De Stoel des Oorlogs. The shop enjoyed a high reputation owing to the great variety of the assortment. Not only 'Visscher' maps, but also maps of other publishers were obtainable. With the death of Elizabeth Verseyl, in 1726, the last descendant died of a great map- and atlas-publishing firm in Amsterdam.


Hessel Gerritsz. (1580/81 – 1632)

Hessel Gerritsz. was one of the most influential and innovative map makers of the seventeenth century. He was born in Assum in North Holland and went to school in Alkmaar. He must have known Willem Jansz. (= Willem Blaeu) who stayed in Alkmaar for several years. Later he moved to Amsterdam for his further education.
After the closing of the Scheldt River, Amsterdam’s competitor was cut off, so that Amsterdam was able to take over the function of world trade centre. Flourishing Amsterdam offered plenty of work and exercised a great attraction for the craftsmen from the Southern Netherlands. The two dominating publishers in the cartographical field were Cornelis Claesz. and Jodocus Hondius both from the Southern Netherlands. Hessel Gerritsz. was trained in the graphic trade by David Vingboons, a painter and artist who also came from the Southern Netherlands.
After his apprenticeship with David Vingboons, Hessel Gerritsz. continued his schooling in the publishing house of Willem Jansz. (Blaeu). There he was able to perfect his etching style and was given the mathematical skills which would be so useful to him later, and he learnt the trade of mapmaking. Together with the engraver Josua van den Ende he was responsible for the engraving of the superb wall map of the Seventeen Provinces (1608). Van den Ende engraved the map image while Hessel Gerritsz. took care of the decorative borders and the decorations on the main map.
During his activities for Willem Jansz. Hessel Gerritsz. not only perfected his etching and engraving style but received the geographical and mathematical education which would stand him in good stead in later years. He could wish for no better cartographical school. Blaeu’s workshop was a sort of repository where geographical information from all parts of the world came together.
Hessel Gerritsz. married in 1607 to Geertje Gijsbertdr. One of his children, Gerrit, born in 1609, was to follow in his father’s footsteps. Shortly after his marriage, he established himself as an independent engraver, mapmaker and printer.
Hessel Gerritsz. regularly worked with Claes Jansz. Visscher as well. They co-operated for a long time.
His artistic talent comes to the fore in his map of the Leo Belgicus, depicting the Seventeen Provinces in the shape of a lion. This was seen as a symbol of the courage and persistence of the Dutch provinces in their resistance against Spanish tyranny.
In the years 1612-13 Hessel Gerritsz. was intensively busy with publications about Russia. In 1612, the influential booklet Beschryvinghe vander Samoyeden Landt appeared by him. The two chapters about Siberia were provided by Isaac Massa, who had lived in Moscow for nine years. With the aid of original Russian material Gerrritsz. was able to produce a series of three maps in folio format: a map of Russia and town plans of Moscow and the Kremlin. He also made a new important wall map of Lithuania and engraved it on four plates for Willem Blaeu. In the meantime, he also made a wall map and a folio map of Spain.
Next to these works undertaken on his initiative, Hessel Gerritsz. also accepted engraving and publishing tasks for third parties.
In 1617, Hessel Gerritsz. published a large wall map of Italy in six sheets. He gave his wall map an extra cachet by extending the map image with town views and costumed figures. The map was copied shortly after publication by Willem Blaeu. To protect himself against such plagiarism in the future, he requested a patent from the States-General. In January 1618, they granted him a general license in which amongst other things it was forbidden in any way to reproduce, copy or distribute his maps, both written or printed.
Hessel Gerritsz. was so highly regarded in 1617, that he received such an extraordinary privilege. He was appointed as instructor in geography for the Councillors of the Admiralty at Amsterdam and as mapmaker for the Chamber Amsterdam of the VOC. With both appointments, his old employer Willem Blaeu was passed over. In his function of mapmaker of the VOC, he was able to improve and expand the charts for the navigation to and from the Indies. The chart maker, of course, did not draw the charts needed for the VOC ships himself. He manufactured specific prototypes, the so-called leggers, (master charts) which served as models for copying work by his assistants in his house.
At the beginning of September 1632, Hessel Gerritsz. died at the age of 52. He must be considered one of the most comprehensive map makers of his time. “He was multi-disciplined in his method of working, integrating graphical technique and artistic expression in his scientific approach. Because of his mathematical talent, he was able to solve nautical problems and make proposals about them. His exceptional network – the interviews with pilots from the diverse companies, as well as his correspondence with persons at home and abroad – supplied him with a huge amount of geographical and nautical information that he used most efficiently. His good contacts with the families of the great merchants and ship owners and the representatives of the influential regents opened doors for him. He was, without doubt, the most informed person in geographical matters in Amsterdam of his time.” (Schilder)

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