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Greece by Abraham Ortelius. 1571

Giacomo Gastaldi (c. 1500 – 1566)

Giacomo Gastaldi was born in Villafranca, in Piedmont, to a wealthy family. Although he is considered one of the greatest cartographers of the sixteenth century, the events of his life and his professional training in the field of cartography are unknown to us until he arrives in Venice, where, in 1539, he obtained a perpetual printing privilege from the Venetian Senate.

One of the first Venetian contacts took place with the geographer and humanist Giovanni Battista Ramusio, with whom he collaborated. At the beginning of the 1540s, Gastaldi was already an established cartographer and began to work on a series of maps first published separately and then included in the Italian edition of Ptolemy's Geography of 1548 and others made from scratch.

By the 1540s, he had developed his distinctive style of copper engraving for his increasingly prolific output of maps. His maps were used as a source by many mapmakers, including Camocio, Bertelli, Forlani, Ramusio, Cock, Luchini and Ortelius.

With the support of his influential friendships, Gastaldi also obtained public positions: in 1549, the Council of Ten commissioned him to make a large map of Africa, for a wall from the armoury in the Doge's Palace and, again for the same room, one map of Asia and one of North America.

It is difficult to quantify the number of maps he produced; more than a hundred have been attributed to him.
Paolo Forlani collaborated for a long time with Gastaldi and published numerous counterfeits and not authorized editions.
Gastaldi died in Venice on 14 October 1566.

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Graeciae Universae Secundum Hodiernum Situm Neoterica Descriptio.

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Item Number:  993 Authenticity Guarantee

Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Greece & Greek Islands

Greece by Abraham Ortelius.

Title: Graeciae Universae Secundum Hodiernum Situm Neoterica Descriptio.
Iacobo Castaldo Pedemontano Auctore.
Cum privilegio.


Cartographer: Giacomo Gastaldi.

Date of the first edition: 1570.
Date of this map: 1571.

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Image size: 365 x 510mm (14.37 x 20.08 inches).
Sheet size: 445 x 590mm (17.52 x 23.23 inches).
Verso: Latin text.
Condition: Original coloured, lower centrefold reinforced.
Condition Rating: A.

From: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum Antwerpen, Anthonis Coppens van Diest, 1571. (Van der Krogt 3, 31:002)

Giacomo Gastaldi (c. 1500 – 1566)

Giacomo Gastaldi was born in Villafranca, in Piedmont, to a wealthy family. Although he is considered one of the greatest cartographers of the sixteenth century, the events of his life and his professional training in the field of cartography are unknown to us until he arrives in Venice, where, in 1539, he obtained a perpetual printing privilege from the Venetian Senate.

One of the first Venetian contacts took place with the geographer and humanist Giovanni Battista Ramusio, with whom he collaborated. At the beginning of the 1540s, Gastaldi was already an established cartographer and began to work on a series of maps first published separately and then included in the Italian edition of Ptolemy's Geography of 1548 and others made from scratch.

By the 1540s, he had developed his distinctive style of copper engraving for his increasingly prolific output of maps. His maps were used as a source by many mapmakers, including Camocio, Bertelli, Forlani, Ramusio, Cock, Luchini and Ortelius.

With the support of his influential friendships, Gastaldi also obtained public positions: in 1549, the Council of Ten commissioned him to make a large map of Africa, for a wall from the armoury in the Doge's Palace and, again for the same room, one map of Asia and one of North America.

It is difficult to quantify the number of maps he produced; more than a hundred have been attributed to him.
Paolo Forlani collaborated for a long time with Gastaldi and published numerous counterfeits and not authorized editions.
Gastaldi died in Venice on 14 October 1566.

References: Van der Krogt 3 - p. 860, 7800:31; Van den Broecke - p. 436, #146; Zacharakis - 2484/1610; Meurer (Ortelius) - p. 80, #40; Karrow - p. 8, 1/60

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