Willem Janszoon Blaeu; 1571-1638.
Joan Blaeu, son; 1596-1673.
Cornelis Blaeu, son; c1598-1642.
Blaeu (or Janszoon by his real name*) was trained by the
famed Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe.
He opened a globe and instrument making business in Amsterdam
in 1599, then expanded into maps and charts.
Of notice are some collaborative works with William Camden
and Pieter van der Keere, "the Sea Mirror" in 1623, the atlas
"Atlantis Appendix" in 1630.
But he had to purchase in 1629 from Jodocus Hondius some 40
plates of the Mercator atlas, to be able to publish his first
2 volume, 100 maps, "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum sive Atlas Novus"
in 1635, continuously expanded and re-issued till 1658.
Appointed Hydrographer to the all powerful East India Company
(VOC), he soon died; and his business passed into the hands
of his two capable sons.
Joan directed the conception and production of the "Atlas
Maior", first issued in 11 volumes in 1662. With 600 double
page maps and 3000 pages of text, this was the most comprehensive,
scientific and artistic atlas ever produced. It consecrated
the famous "carte ā figures" style that was inspirational
to many other superb cartographers, such as Claes Visscher
and John Speed.
In 1672 a fire destroyed the shop, and the remaining plates
* To avoid confusion with his rival Johannes Janssonius,
Blaeu changed his usual marks (Guilielmus Janssonius, or Willem
Jans Zoon); after1619 he signed his works Guilielmus Blaeu(w)
(with variants for the first name).
Paraguay, o prov.de Rio de la Plata cum regionibus
adjacentibus Tucuman et Sta. Cruz de la Sierra.
This large map (18 15/16' X 14 11/16') was originally designed
for the 1635 Atlas Novus.
The present item was printed in 1640 for a French edition
of said Atlas.
It shows the vast and empty expenses of what is now Paraguay,
Uruguay, Bolivia and parts of Chile, Brazil, Peru and Argentina.
The capital (Nuestra Seņora de la) Assuncion is clearly marked,
as well as a few other towns easily recognizable.
Notice that none of the Jesuit missions are shown since they
had started to settle around 1609.
The accompanying text indicates that the population is healthy
and that the land is very good for raising cattle and horses.
French text on verso.