Diego Homen’s Atlas 1561

Diego Homen’s Atlas 1561 – AyN Ediciones – PM-2 – Museo Naval (Madrid, Spain)

Venice (Italy) — 1561

Diego Homem's pioneering work in the field of cartography: the beautifully ornamented mapping of sea routes, oceans, and regions of the world as an example of the inexorable advance of science

  1. Diego Homem (1521–76), one of the most talented cartographers of all time, created a true masterpiece of cartography

  2. It not only recorded known sea routes, seas, and oceans, but also all regions of the mainland

  3. The Atlas of 1561 is an outstanding example of the scientific achievements of the European Renaissance

Diego Homen’s Atlas 1561

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Diego Homen’s Atlas 1561

The 16th century witnessed the science of cartography advance by leaps and bounds. The Portuguese cartographer Diogo Homem was second to none among his contemporaries and produced works that were both highly accurate and gorgeously designed. Homem’s 1561 Atlas includes some of the greatest achievements of his distinguished career.

Diogo Homem’s Atlas 1561

When one thinks of the origins of the fantastic works of cartography that were produced during the Renaissance, murder does not usually come to mind. Diogo Homem (1521–76), also spelled Homen, was exiled from Portugal because of his complicity in a murder, what his exact role was in unclear, but he fled first to England and later to Venice. While living in the “City of Water”, which is really a series of islands connected by bridges and canals, Homem created some of the finest works of 16th century cartography. His portolan charts, nautical maps with a windrose network designating a series of sailing directions between ports, were both revolutionary in their accuracy and masterful in their artistry. The lands depicted have elegantly colored coastlines, contain local flags and escutcheons, cityscapes and mountains, as well as intricate compass roses. The quality of his work is widely recognized and exhibited in museums and collections in Italy, Austria, Great Britain, France, the United States, and in his native Portugal. Homem’s 34-page atlas published in 1561 is a collection of some of his best works and offers a wonderful inside glimpse into the fine art and science of Renaissance cartography.


Alternative Titles
Atlas de Diego Homen
Atlas del Mediterraneo de Diego Homen
Atlas des Diego Homen von 1561
Diogo Homem Atlas
Diogo Homem’s Atlas 1561
Size / Format
24 pages + 8 maps / 46.5 × 30.0 cm
Gothic Textura Quadrata
7 maps and a cosmographic chart, all richly colored double-pages with gold leaf
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Diego Homen’s Atlas 1561 – AyN Ediciones – PM-2 – Museo Naval (Madrid, Spain)
AyN Ediciones – Madrid, 2005
Limited Edition: 995 copies
Detail Picture

Diogo Homem’s Atlas 1561

Venice and its Vicinities

Diogo Homem was forced to flee his homeland of Portugal after he was suspected of being involved in a murder and eventually made his way to the Republic of Venice at a time when La Serenissima was perhaps the most splendid city in the world. Towering over the rest of the skyline, St. Mark's Campanile makes the cityscape of Venice immediately identifiable. Venice’s symbol, the winged lion, is shown flying on the Banner of St. Mark next to it as is a splendid compass rose, both in gold leaf.

Diego Homen’s Atlas 1561 – AyN Ediciones – PM-2 – Museo Naval (Madrid, Spain)
Single Page

Diego Homen’s Atlas 1561

Iberian Peninsula

As a Portuguese cartographer, Diogo Homem had a particularly acute knowledge of the geography of the Iberian Peninsula. It is thus presented here with a remarkable degree of accuracy and artistic refinement that simultaneously make this a masterpiece of both cartography and Renaissance art – a splendid image of the Western Mediterranean in the 16th century.

Only the highest quality pigments and precious gold leaf were used in the creation of this splendid atlas. Here we see the name HISPANIA presented in a red banderole with gold lettering, compass roses created with incredible precision and artistry, and other details like mountain ranges, cities, and the royal coats of arms of the kingdoms of Spain, France, and the various rulers of the Barbary Coast.

Diego Homen’s Atlas 1561 – AyN Ediciones – PM-2 – Museo Naval (Madrid, Spain)
Facsimile Editions

#1 Atlas del Mediterraneo de Diego Homen

AyN Ediciones – Madrid, 2005

Publisher: AyN Ediciones – Madrid, 2005
Limited Edition: 995 copies
Binding: Full Leather
Commentary: 1 volume by Julio F. Guillén y Tato and José Luis Morales Hernández
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
Price: Log in here!
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