Pieter van der Aa; 1659-1733.
Van der Aa,
started his own book making shop in Leyden in 1672, publishing
an enormous amount of materials. He did branch out seriously
in the atlas business in 1707, probably on account of the
strong interest for geography with the dutch public of that
The golden age of the East India Company was over, but international
trade was still a major economic trump for the Low Countries.
His cartographic knowledge and skills were rather limited,
but he borrowed extensively from the masters of the art. His
maps were quite decorative, and made the success of "Atlas
nouveau et curieux" in 1710, and above all of the 27 volume
"La gallerie agréable du monde" in 1729.
Chili, grand pays de l'Amerique meridionale, vers
la mer du midi,.
This very attractive
map (14 ¼" X 11 ¼") was published in the "La gallerie agreable
du monde". Its style is very typical of Aa: a cartouche with
anecdotal vignettes helping the reader to better grasp the
local environment and the character of its population (a bit
misleading in this case, since there was not much precious
metal smelting to do in this land which was considered by
the spanish as better used for farming purposes).
At that time, the province of Chili, was much shorter than
the Chile we know now (the northern sector being part of the
vice-kingdom of Peru), and somewhat wider (the spaniards preferred
to expand eastward from the Pacific coast, to avoid confrontation
with the portuguese on the Atlantic side (re. the 1494 treaty
of Tordesillas). It is only in 1883, that Chile will extend
its territory north up to Arica at the expense of Peru.
Aa gives a vivid description of the terrain dominated by the
Andes, replete with spewing volcanoes. It also shows the fertile
valleys, which are in present day Argentina.
Notice the Juan Fernandez archipelago WSW of San Iago de la
nueva Estremadura (today's Santiago), where the castaway extraordinaire
Robinson Crusoe (true name: Alexander Selkirk) survived from
1704 till 1708.
No text on verso.