Atlas of Pedro de Texeira

Atlas of Pedro de Texeira

Spain — 1634

Detailed maps researched in minute detail: the Spanish Empire at the height of its power

  1. The 1634 map series of King Philip IV of Spain (1605–65) presents the Spanish Empire in detail and in its full glory

  2. Pedro Texeira (1595–1662) spent the years 1620–22 just mapping the coasts of the Iberian Peninsula

  3. Mostly double-page maps are encircled with wonderful frames and contain a variety of information

Atlas of Pedro de Texeira

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Atlas of Pedro de Texeira

King Philip IV of Spain commissioned a map series from his royal geographer and cartographer Pedro Texeira in 1634. The Descripción de España y de las Costas y Puertos de sus Reynos was meant to present the Spanish Empire in detail and in its full glory. Wonderfully colored and creatively depicted maps give an overview of the coasts and cities of Spain and the Iberian Peninsula. The world map also give a glimpse of the outstanding cartographic findings and abilities of the significant Spanish court geographer.

Atlas of Pedro de Texeira

In 1634, the Spanish King Philip IV commissioned a map series from his royal geographer and cartographer Pedro Texeira. The Descripción de España y de las Costas y Puertos de sus Reynos was to present the great Spanish power in detail and in its full glory. Gorgeously colored and creatively designed maps give an overview of the coasts and cities of Spain and the Iberian Peninsula. However, a world map offers a glimpse of the outstanding cartographical findings and abilities of the important 17th century Spanish court geographer.

Spain’s Glory in Geographic Format

Already at the beginning of the 17th century, Spain could look back on a grandiose history as a great power. Spain stood at the pinnacle of the great powers of Europe at least since Charles I of Spain was elected Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1519. This supremacy reached its zenith in the 16th century as Spain forged a global empire from colonies on three continents. The slow loss of this prominence began under Philip IV of Spain (1605–1665), who inter alia undertook many wars against the Netherlands, France, and England among others, and summoned Diego Velázquez to court. Spain’s global empire was to once again enjoy great fame in Pedro Texeira’s atlas.

The “Cosmographer” of Two Kings

This Pedro Texeira (1595–1662) was originally a Portuguese cartographer, who came to Spain ca. 1610. There he enjoyed the highest accolades as the royal “cosmographer”. He was the court geographer and cartographer under Kings Philip III (1598–1621) and Philip IV (1621–1665) of Spain and was consequently known in the highest circles. In the years 1622–20, Texeira was occupied with the mapping of the coasts of the Iberian Peninsula. These geographic findings served as the foundation for the Descripción de España y de las Costas y Puertos de sus Reynos, which was dedicated to King Philip IV.

Geographic Information, Amusingly and Artfully Presented

Pedro Texeira collected 88 colored pseudo-perspectives of the Spanish coastal regions on 200 pages in a large format of 1:20,000 to 1:100,000. These were supplemented with a few smaller cartographic maps of the peninsula’s coasts, the whole Iberian Peninsula, and the world. So, in the Atlas of 1634 there are maps of Barra and the harbor of Lisbon or a map of the whole Iberian Peninsula with the surrounding coastal regions. The Mediterranean and Atlantic are populated with delicately painted ships, which sail around the coasts and island, such as the Balearic Islands. The atlas of the coasts and cities of Spain was completed through detailed maps of the land’s interior, some with a description of the Kingdom of Galicia. The exact pen and ink drawing is, like all maps of the geographic compendium, artfully water colored by Pedro Texeira. The mostly double-page maps are encircled with wonderful frames and contain a variety of descriptions, entertaining addendums, or cartographic aids such as a display scale. The reference to King Philip IV, the ruler of the domains depicted, was made apparent through the gorgeous full-page miniature of the royal coat-of-arms against a red background and in an artfully designed frame.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Atlas de Pedro Texeira
Atlas des Pedro de Texeira
Size / Format
200 pages / 44.6 × 34.8 cm
Origin
Spain
Date
1634
Style
Language
Illustrations
88 vividly-coloured pseudo-perspectives of coastal areas, in large scales ranging from about 1:20,000 to 1:100,000, plus several smaller-scale chorographic maps of the Peninsular coast, the whole Iberia and the World
Content
Atlas depicting Spanish coasts and ports
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Atlas of Pedro de Texeira – Cod. Min. 46 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Siloé, arte y bibliofilia – Burgos, 2004
Limited Edition: 898 copies
Detail Picture

Atlas of Pedro de Texeira

Royal Coat of Arms of Philip IV

This splendid atlas originated at the behest of King Philip IV of Spain and bears his royal coat of arms, which reflects the massive territory ruled by him. When this map was created in 1634, the King was styled as “Philip, by the grace of God king of the Spains, Both the Sicilies, Jerusalem, the Indies, etc., archduke of Austria, duke of Burgundy, Milan, etc., count of Habsburg, Tyrol, etc.” Despite these lofty titles, the Spanish Empire was already in a state of economic and political decline.

Atlas de Pedro Texeira
Single Page

Atlas of Pedro de Texeira

Castell de Ferro

Principally known today for its tourism, agriculture, and historic buildings, Castell de Ferro’s history stretches back to when it was settled by the Phoenicians. It is located on the central coast of the province of Grenada between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The town and harbor are guarded by a hilltop castle, which is Moorish in appearance but whose foundations may be Phoenician.

This full-page miniature artfully depicts a fleet of three ships sailing into the harbor, where another three ships lay in anchor. The green landscape of the coastline gives way to the dry yellow foothills that lead into the cool blue mountains in the distance. The town has red tile roofs and is protected by pink walls and towers.

Atlas de Pedro Texeira
Facsimile Editions

#1 Atlas de Pedro Texeira

Siloé, arte y bibliofilia – Burgos, 2004

Publisher: Siloé, arte y bibliofilia – Burgos, 2004
Limited Edition: 898 copies
Binding: Leather with blind embossings
Commentary: 1 volume by Juan José García Gil and Pablo Molinero Hernando
Language: Spanish
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
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