Coronelli's Splendid Two-Sheet Map of China
"[On 2 Sheets] Parte Occidentale della China Divisa nelle sue Provincie.../Parte Orientale della China, Divisa nelle sue Provincie...", Coronelli, Vincenzo Maria
Period: 1691 (circa)
Publication: Atlante Veneto
Color: Hand Color
17.8 x 23.8 inches
45.2 x 60.5 cm
This lovely two-sheet map of China covers the region from Tibet east to Taiwan and north to the Korean peninsula, with the Great Wall of China prominently depicted below the top border. The map is based upon Jesuit sources with text below the main title cartouche specifically acknowledging Philippe Couplet, who became interested in China from a lecture by Father Martino Martini. Couplet went to China with a group led by Michal Boym in 1856 and would spend the next 25 years in the country. Cartographically, the map is delineated by province and shows good detail along the coast and in the interior, with topography, rivers, and lakes well developed. The map's accuracy is reinforced through the thoughtful use of decorative elements including dividers, compasses, and sextants to name a few. The map was dedicated to Antonio Baldigiani, a Jesuit scientist and professor based in Rome who was highly regarded by the Catholic Church at a time when the scientific revolution was clashing with the church's ideology. Above the title cartouche is the Jesuit insignia.
Vincenzo Coronelli was a Franciscan priest and renowned mathematician and cartographer. He was appointed official Cosmographer to the Venetian Republic in 1685 and founded the world's earliest geographic society, L'Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti.
A crisp impression on watermarked paper with light damp staining along the centerfold and a few small fold separations closed on verso with archival material. There are a few tiny wormholes in the image, and one small worm track on the western sheet that has been archivally repaired on verso. The sheets are lightly cockled, and a few minor edge tears confined to the blank margins have been closed on verso with archival tape.