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TRAMEZZINI, M. - Brabantiae Belgarum Provinciae Recens Exactaque Descriptio.
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Brabantiae Belgarum Provinciae Recens Exactaque Descriptio. - TRAMEZZINI, M.
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Title : Brabantiae Belgarum Provinciae Recens Exactaque Descriptio..
Map maker : TRAMEZZINI, M..
Date : Rome, 1558.
Size : 20.5 x 15.6 inches. / 52.0 x 39.5 cm.
Colouring : Uncoloured.
Description :An extremely rare example of the first Lafreri School edition of Jacob van Deventer's groundbreaking survey of Brabant; the earliest surviving example of a map based upon a modern systematic triangulated surveys. It was the first of the series of provincial maps of the Netherlands made by Jacob van Deventer (1500/5-75).
The map depicts the Duchy of Brabant, long one of the wealthiest regions of Europe. Home to the court city of Brussels, the great port of Antwerp and the Low Countries' first university (Louvain), it had for centuries been a leading centre of manufacturing, trade and academia.
The map embraces the entire province, extending from the rolling hills south of Brussels to the Maas (Meuse) River in the north and east, the Scheldt (Schelde) Estuary in the west. The quality of the engraving is exceptionally fine, depicting every village, with the main towns rising in pictographic relief, and the surrounding topography and forests elegantly distinguished.
The upper portion of the map is handsomely adorned with the arms of the Empire, as well as those of the incumbent Spanish regime and the Duchy itself.
Van Deventer studied medicine and philosophy at the University of Louvain, but was soon engaged by the fields of geography and surveying. Upon reading Gemma Frisius's revolutionary work 'Libellus de locorum describendorum ratione' (1533), which described trigonometric surveying techniques, Van Deventer set about surveying Brabant.
He completed his manuscript map in 1536, and the accuracy and detail of the work so impressed government officials that, in 1540, Emperor Charles V appointed him 'Imperial Cartographer'. He was subsequently commissioned to conduct similar surveys of all of the provinces of the Low Countries.
Van Deventer's map of Brabant was first published in Antwerp in 1546, making it the first map to be printed in the Low Countries. Sadly, the only known example to survive into modern times was destroyed during World War II.
The Rome map publisher Michele Tramezini (1526-1571) acquired a copy of Van Deventer's 1546 original issue, likely through an agent attending the Frankfurt Book Fair. Michele Tramezini was one of the leading figures of the Italian 'Lafreri School' of cartography, which was responsible for many of the finest and most influential maps of the sixteenth-century.
Tramezini commissioned Jacob Bos, a Dutchman who had become one of the leading fine art engravers in late Renaissance Italy, to produce a new edition of Van Deventer's map of Brabant. The resulting map was first issued in 1556, with a second Tramezini state appearing in 1558. The map remained by far the most accurate and widely-admired survey of Brabant.
Condition : In fine condition. Sharp impression. Some tiny wormholes practically unnoticeable restored; professionally remargined. Watermark of a shield with the letter M topped by a star. Verso: blank.
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