2010/11 Winter Catalogue, William R. Talbot Fine Art, Antique Maps & Prints Home

2010/11 Winter Catalogue > 21. HOMANN’s 1716 MAP of CRETE

21. HOMANN’s 1716 MAP of CRETE

Johann Baptist Homann. “Insula Creta hodie Candia in fua IV.Territoria divisa cum adjacentibus Aegei Maris Insulis ac praesertium nupperrime ex abysso pelagi emergente Nova Santorini Insula” (Nuremberg: Johann Baptist Homann, 1716). Published in the first edition of Grosser Atlas Ueber Die Ganze Welt, no. 104. Double-page copperplate engraving with bright original hand color. 19 x 22 1/2" at neat line, full margins. Sheet: 21 x 24 3/8." A few unobtrusive printer’s creases at l.r.; one very minor marginal separation at b.c., with repair; a number of inscribed lines under names of towns, etc. Otherwise, fine.

Price: $850. [ Order ]

Homann’s beautiful and richly colored map presents a fascinating picture of the island of Crete in the early eighteenth century. Part of the title of this map refers to Candia, the name for Crete that was used by the Venetians during their 465-year rule. In 1669, the Ottoman Turks won control of the island, but apparently retained the name Candia, as well as its four main divisions. A large and exquisite title cartouche is framed with depictions of Hermes and Poseiden, as well as a female figure in Turkish dress who is accompanied by a royal crest. Near the island of Santorini, a paragraph describes the formation of an island nearby through the eruption of a volcano on May 23, 1707.

This large and colorful map represents the height of the cartographic work of Johann Baptist Homann (1664–1724), one of the most important mapmakers of the eighteenth century. When Johann Baptist Homann began his business as a cartographer in 1702, he founded a dynasty that was to last into the nineteenth century. Following the long period of Dutch domination, the Homann family became the most important map publishers in Germany. After the founder’s death in 1724, the firm continued under the direction of his son until 1730 and was then bequeathed to his heirs on the condition that it trade under the name of Homann Heirs. Maps with this imprint continued to exert a wide influence on map publishing in Germany.

In 1715, Johann Baptist Homann became a member the Prussian Academy of Sciences and was appointed Imperial Geographer of the Holy Roman Empire. The following year, Homann published what is considered to be his masterpiece, the Grosser Atlas ueber die ganze Welt (Grand Atlas of all the World, 1716), and dedicated the work to Charles VI, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. The present map was produced for the first edition of Homann’s Grand Atlas, and exhibits all the hallmarks of his style—expert engraving, exceptional detail, a highly embellished allegorical title cartouche, and rich color—making it a sumptuous example of mapmaking from the Baroque period.

Refs.: LeGear, 5966 (1716 edition); Phillips, Atlases, 586 (later edition).

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