Christopher Columbus’s Chart, Mappa Mundi

Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris




Shelf mark: Res. GE. AA. 562.
Date: c. 1492.
Size: 680 x 1,100 mm.
Commentary volume (236 p.) by José Luis Comellas (Universidad de Sevilla).
Unique and unrepeatable first edition, strictly limited to 987 numbered and authenticated copies.
ISBN: 978-84-88526-16-8

Christopher Columbus’s Chart, Mappa Mundi Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris

Shelf mark: Res. GE. AA. 562.
Date: c. 1492.
Size: 680 x 1,100 mm.
Commentary volume (236 p.) by José Luis Comellas (Universidad de Sevilla).
Unique and unrepeatable first edition, strictly limited to 987 numbered and authenticated copies.
ISBN: 978-84-88526-16-8


Pictures
Christopher Columbus’s Chart, Mappa Mundi
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris




Commentary volume

Christopher Columbus’s Chart, Mappa Mundi Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris


CONTENTS:

Prefacio

Introducción

La navegación y el conocimiento del mundo

El arte de hacer mapas y cartas

Análisis gráfico e historia del mapa atribuido a Colón

Análisis cartológico

Descripción y análisis del portulano

La esfera celeste y la esfera terrestre. El mapamundi??

El autor del mapa

Epílogo
José Luis Comellas (Catedrático de la Universidad
de Sevilla)

ISBN: 978-84-88526-16-8

 






Description

Christopher Columbus’s Chart, Mappa Mundi Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris


In 1924, Charles de la Roncière, a French historian and cartography expert, attributed to Christopher Columbus a portulan navigation chart which has since been the subject of debate and discussion.

The navigation chart shows the classical design of the Mediterranean area with the addition of the Atlantic coastlines stretching from the south of Scandinavia to the mouth of the river Congo. It features a particularly comprehensive nomenclature of the entire African coast – an area where Columbus is believed to have undertaken at least one voyage with the Portuguese. To the East it encompasses the Black Sea and the Red Sea, and to the West, a series of islands, some real and some imaginary, stretching from the Artic to the Gulf of Guinea.

The elongated part of the parchment shows a small, circular mappa mundi with Jerusalem in the middle surrounded by heavenly rings symbolising the geocentric concept of the universe. Practical navigation charts are not often found alongside cosmographic maps. One of the accompanying notes in Latin says that despite being plotted on a flat surface, the mappa mundi must be thought of as spherical. The portrayal of the earth in this manner confirms the evolution of maps between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

The Spanish flag painted over Granada reveals that the map was completed after January 1492, following the conquest of the Muslim city by the Catholic monarchs. Unlike Juan de la Cosa’s planisphere dated 1500 and subsequent maps, no attempt is made in this map to show the new discoveries that were made from 1493 onwards, an indication that it was made in early 1492.



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