Abraham Ortelius; 1528-1598.
Ortelius name is often associated with Ptolemy and Mercator, when evocating the founding fathers of cartography.
Abaham Ortel (Ortelius), born in Antwerp , trained in classics and math.
He became a book dealer and a map colorist. Widely traveling to attend fairs, he befriended many literati, in his homeland and abroad.
Upon their encouragement, he engaged in 1570 in the “Theatrum Orbis Terrarum” project, by collecting maps, charts and plans among diverse cartographers, and having Frans Hogenberg* re-engrave them in the same uniform size and style, to form the first known modern Atlas (even though this term was not used for another twenty years,. by his major competitor: Gerard Mercator!).
The Theatrum knew an immediate and lasting success, being re-issued many times over in different languages. It always gave credit to the sources of information and other contributors used to produce the maps (a practice few followed in those days.).
Of note: the 42 editions of the “Theatrum” between 1570 and 1612, the “Spiegel der Werelt” (reduced version of the Theatrum engraved by Philippe Galle, issued till 1585); and the 1579 “Parergon Theatri” (historical atlas, reissued till 1624).
*Hogenberg associated with Georg Braun, was famous for their1572 “Civitates Orbis Terrarum”, a compilation of plans of the most significant towns of the time, being recycled many times till 1750 by Abraham Hogenberg, Frederick de Wit, Pieter van der Aa, Covens & Mortier.
This miniature map (4 15/16” X 3 7/16”) is an extreme reduction of the 1570 original full size map.
It was engraved by Ambrose and Ferdinand Arsenius (the two brothers had been assistants to Frans Hogenberg during the production of the Theatrum).
The present item was probably printed in Antwerp by Vrient circa 1601 for one of the many versions of the “Epitome Theatri Orbis Terrarum”, the Galle 's diminutive atlas with text written by Michel Coignet. Notice that Toledo is still written in larger font than any other city name (including Madrid), since it had been the capital of Spain till 1561.
No text on verso.