Atlas of the Worlds

Atlas of the Worlds Facsimile Edition

Venice (Italy) — ca. 1540

From the workshop of Battista Agnese, arguably the most talented cartographer of the 16th century: scientific accuracy and the refined art of the Italian Renaissance combined in a finely adorned masterpiece

  1. Battista Agnese (ca. 1500–1564) produced more than 80 atlases over the course of 30 years in Venice

  2. This manuscript consists of 9 nautical charts, 1 world map surrounded by 12 blowing Anemoi, and 1 zodiac chart

  3. Since the Baja California Peninsula is not depicted, it must have been created between 1536 and 1541

Atlas of the Worlds

  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Atlas of the Worlds

Battista Agnese was one of the most talented and prolific Italian cartographers of the 16th century, producing more than 80 atlases consisting of richly decorated and precise nautical charts over the course of 30 years for wealthy nobles, merchants, and officials. This work was commissioned by the Martinengos family, nobles from Brescia with strong ties to Venice. It consists of nine nautical charts, one world map surrounded by twelve blowing Anemoi, and one zodiac chart, which are richly colored in black, blue, gold, red, and green as well as gold. The place names are written in Latin, Venetian, Castilian, and Portuguese. Since the Baja California Peninsula is not depicted, this otherwise undated manuscript was created between 1536 and 1541. The precision with which the land route through the Isthmus of Panama to upper Peru was depicted indicates the importance of Peruvian mineral resources for the empire. Therefore, this precious manuscript combines a scientific degree of accuracy with the refined art of the Italian Renaissance.


Alternative Titles
Atlas der zwei Welten
Atlante dei Mondi
Size / Format
26 pages / 23.8 x 16.5 cm
ca. 1540
9 nautical charts
1 world map
1 zodiac chart
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
ArtCodex – Castelvetro di Modena, 2018
Limited Edition: 999
Detail Picture

Atlas of the Worlds

The British Isles

No matter how detailed maps originating from the great cartographic centers of the Mediterranean were in their depictions of familiar shores, they usually have very vague depictions of the British Isles save for its most southernly coasts. Aside from giving a relatively accurate representation of the coastlines of England, Scotland, and Ireland, this map labels some of the more important of the smaller islands such as the Isle of Mann, but the distant Shetland Islands in the North Sea are merely a bunch of red dots.

Atlante dei Mondi
Single Page

Atlas of the Worlds

World Map

This is an early draft of one of the most popular and copied world maps and is significant for three reasons: it represents the most current geographic knowledge of European cartographers ca. 1540, it is rendered in an oval projection resembling a modern map, and it depicts the sea route chosen by Magellan for his circumnavigation of the globe.

Rather than being a practical aid for navigators, this watercolor was intended for display in the homes of the wealthy and educated and thus includes artistic details impractical for navigation. It is surprisingly accurate and can be dated between 1536 and 1541 because the Baja California Peninsula is not depicted. The Anemoi, ancient Greek wind gods who were each ascribed a cardinal direction from which their respective winds came, frame the map.

Atlante dei Mondi
Facsimile Editions

#1 Atlante dei Mondi

ArtCodex – Castelvetro di Modena, 2018

Publisher: ArtCodex – Castelvetro di Modena, 2018
Limited Edition: 999
Binding: Slipcase
Commentary: 1 volume by Ennio Ferraglio
Language: Italian
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