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KAERIUS, P. - Leo Belgicus.

KAERIUS, P. -  Leo Belgicus.
Leo Belgicus. - KAERIUS, P.
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Title : Leo Belgicus..
Map maker : KAERIUS, P..
Date : Amsterdam, 1617.
Size : 14.6 x 17.8 inches. / 37.0 x 45.2 cm.
Colouring : In original colours.

Description :Among the greatest decorative works of early cartography is a series of arresting maps showing The Netherlands and Belgium in the shape of a lion. The various versions of these so-called Leo Belgicus maps are all exceedingly rare, only a few examples surviving and in some cases only a solitary specimen has been located. This particular example by Kaerius is one of the most decorative.
The use of the shape of a lion in the depiction of the two countries arose in part from the fact that their actual shape is vaguely leonine. This commanding image was an apt symbol for a nation on the verge of unprecedented wealth and power. Secondly, the lion had long figured in the national iconography of the area: most of the coats-of-arms of the 17 provinces of the countries feature a lion.
Also, the map was a statement of unity, since at the time the 17 provinces comprised a single nation, although under the yoke of Spanish domination. Its rich ornamentation includes three couples along the bottom in the characteristic dress of the regions of Friesland, Holland and Belgium.¤

Van der Heijden, Leo Belgicus 4.2.a.
Condition : A very good and dark impression in attractive original colours. Contemporarily pasted on paper, with title in red ink "Le Lion Belgique. (Nederland in de gedaante van een Leeuw)".

ID: 01693

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