Girolamo Ruscelli; 1504-1566.
A Venetian humanist and editor of fame, Ruscelli is mostly known for
his 1561 edition of a Ptolemy's Geographia. This atlas was
re-edited a number of times, specially in 1562, 1564, 1574,
1598 and 1599. For this purpose, he used slightly larger versions
of the maps Giacomo Gastaldi's compiled in 1548 for his own
It is generally assumed that Alessio Piemontese (Alexius Pedemontanus), was his pen name for the immensely popular book "The Secrets of Alexis of Piedmont" which was published in more than a hundred editions and was still being reprinted in the 1790s. The book contributed to the emergence of the concept of science as a key to the secrets of nature, leading eventually to the Scientific Revolution.
Isola Cuba Nova.
This map (9 5/8" X 7 1/16") was originally engraved with a
map of Hispaniola the same copper plate for the 1561very rare
first edition of "La Geografia di Claudio Tolome". Once printed,
the two maps would be separated and inserted in the book to
illustrate respectively chapter #33 (Isola Cuba) and #34 (Ysla
Espaniola nueva). Hence, the plate mark of both maps runs
off the top of the page. Starting in 1574, new individual
plates were engraved, which lasted until the last edition
It shows exactly the same details as depicted in the 1548
Gastaldi map. Its delineation is directly derived from the 1548 Gastaldi
map, with even less details than the original. Notice that
neither Santiago nor La Havana are shown. Conversely La Trinidad
(founded in 1514 by governor Diego Velazquez, and having served
as the staging point for the 1519 Cortez expedition to conquer
Mexico) is prominently shown on the south coast.
West to La Trinidad, the small port of S. Xp¯oual is actually
the settlement of San Christobal established in 1515, and
which was moved to the north coast in 1519 to become (S. Cristobal
de) La Havana.
Italian text on verso.