Castiglioni World Map

Castiglioni World Map Facsimile Edition

Seville (Spain) — 1525

One of the first world maps in history with the Earth in spherical form: a cartographic masterpiece commissioned by Emperor Charles V to consolidate Spanish supremacy on the world's oceans

  1. This highly accurate world map was created by Diego Ribeiro in 1525 at the behest of Emperor Charles V (1500–58)

  2. The high-quality sea chart is one of the first maps in which the world is visualized in its spherical form

  3. This map was consulted by seafarers and served the expansion and control of Spanish sea trade

Castiglioni World Map

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Castiglioni World Map

The Castiglioni World Map originated in the year 1525 in Seville, Spain. It was produced by Diego Ribeiro, the managing cartographer of the Spanish cartography school. The map arose at the behest of Emperor Charles V, who transferred it to the distinguished count and author Baldassare Castiglioni as a gift.

Castiglioni World Map

In the Middle Ages there arose atlases and maps completely without technical aids. Appearing even more astounding and admirable to us today are the works by medieval cartographers which still survive. A particularly influential map originated from 1525 in the Spanish city of Seville. The Castiglioni World Map is the masterpiece of the Renaissance scholar Diego Ribeiro. The cartographer made his famous map at the behest of Charles V, who later presented it to the Spanish count, diplomat, and writer Baldassare Castiglioni as a gift. The high-quality sea chart is one of the first maps in which the world is visualized in its spherical form.

The Spanish Cartography of the Renaissance

In the 16th century, Spain and Portugal were Europe’s most successful colonial powers. Numerous discoveries and settlements in previously unexplored regions took place under Iberian flags. The many expeditions and discoveries of the Spanish additionally lead to the settlement here of the most modern school of cartography at the time. The “Casa da Contratatión”, founded in 1503, was a royal authority for the management of all Spanish expeditions of exploration and conquest in the New World. Some of the most important maps and sea charts of the Middle Ages originated from there. Diego Ribeiro was the managing cartographer of the Casa da Contratatión. His Castiglioni World Map did not merely serve the publication and circulation of new geographical information. They were primarily used for seafaring. After its creation, the Castiglioni World Map was consulted by seafarers and served the expansion and control of Spanish sea trade. After the map was transferred from Emperor Charles V to its latter Spanish owner, Baldassare Castiglioni, it remained for a long time in the private library of the count. In the year 2000, the important historical document was transferred to the Biblioteca Estense Universitaria in Italian Modena. Here it was part of an exhibition on the development of cartography in Europe until 2002. Today the influential world map is still stored in the Estense library.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Planisfero Castiglioni
Castiglioni-Weltkarte
Size / Format
1 map / 81.5 × 214.0 cm
Origin
Spain
Date
1525
Language
Script
Gothic Textura Rotunda
Patron
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain (1500–1558)
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Baldassarre Castiglioni (1478–1529)

Available facsimile editions:
Castiglioni World Map – C.G. A 12 – Biblioteca Estense Universitaria (Modena, Italy) Facsimile Edition
Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2001
Limited Edition: 499 copies
Detail Picture

Castiglioni World Map

LINEA EQVINOCCIAL

Surrounded by a compass with very precise gradients labelled CIRCVLUS SOLARIS, which is also features the months of the year and the corresponding zodiac symbols, the equator (in red) is labeled here with a stylized banderole. The Tropic of Capricorn and Tropic of Cancer (also in red) flank the Equator and barely come into contact with the compass. Carefully plotted portolan lines radiate from the middle of the compass, the composition of which speaks to the skill of the cartographer.

Planisfero Castiglioni
Single Page

Castiglioni World Map

The Known World in 1525

Despite lacking the use of satellites or computer modelling, Diego Ribeiro managed to create this surprisingly accurate albeit incomplete map of the world. Nonetheless, what areas of the world Europeans had explored up to this point are recreated here with a truly unbelievable degree of precision.

This is a testament to Ribeiro’s skill as the managing cartographer of the famous Casa da Contratación, the royal authority for Spain’s geographical information that could often be a state secret. Although this map could be used for practical purposes, it was gifted by Emperor Charles V to the Spanish count, diplomat, and writer Baldassare Castiglioni as a splendid gift meant to indicate the sophistication and “worldliness” of the owner.

Planisfero Castiglioni
Facsimile Editions

#1 Planisfero Castiglioni

Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2001
Castiglioni World Map – C.G. A 12 – Biblioteca Estense Universitaria (Modena, Italy) Facsimile Edition
Castiglioni World Map – C.G. A 12 – Biblioteca Estense Universitaria (Modena, Italy) Facsimile Edition Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2001
Limited Edition: 499 copies
Binding: The facsimile, commentary volume, and the certificate of authenticity are presented in a box measuring 83 × 16 × 16 cm.
Commentary: 1 volume by Roberto Bini, Ernesto Milan, and Anna­lisa Battini
Language: Italian
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: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
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