Navigational Map of Mediterranean Sea

Navigational Map of Mediterranean Sea Facsimile Edition

Genoa (Italy) — 1561

Created by the scion of a family of cartographers in the service of the maritime republic of Genoa: the cities and ports of the Mediterranean recorded on a beautifully decorated map by Giacomo Maggiolo

  1. Giacomo Maggiolo came from a family of cartographers in service of the seafaring Republic of Genoa

  2. Maggiolo's luminously colored map from 1561 stands out as an outstanding specimen of his art

  3. The map identifies cities and ports and also gives of picture of the regions surrounding the Mediterranean

Navigational Map of Mediterranean Sea

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Navigational Map of Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean Sea at the center between Africa, Asia, and Europe was already always an object of fascination, and not only for the people who lived there. During the age of exploration across the wide world, new continents and sea-lanes to foreign cultures preserved the status of the Mediterranean as the center of trade and culture in the 16th century. This appreciation is expressed through the numerous maps that deal with the geography of the Mediterranean, including this gem of the Italian cartography from that period.

Navigational Map of the Mediterranean Sea

Giacomo Maggiolo (aka Jacobus de Maiolo), the creator of this impressive map of the Mediterranean, originated from one of the most famous families of cartographers in Genoa. The Maggiolo family supplied the famous seafaring Republic of Genoa with maps for navigation – an important resource for maritime shipping. Giacomo Maggiolo was the son of the famous cartographer Maggiolo Vesconte, who in Genoa was named the "Maestro della carte da navigare" by Ottaviano Fregso.

A Highly Praised Cartographer

Giacomo Maggiolo was famous for the excellent decoration of his maps, which are additionally very carefully worked by him. The Navigational Map of the Mediterranean Sea, originating in the year 1561, presents itself as an outstanding specimen of his art. Luminously colored, the map from the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Vittorio Emanuele II in Rome gives a comprehensive image of the Mediterranean region on a piece of parchment measuring 64 x 83 cm. The map was originally in the possession of Marina Medicea dell'Ordine di S. Stefano.

Kings in the North, Nomad Tents in the South

The figure of the Madonna with child stands as protection for the seafarers over the geographical representation. A detailed picture of the Mediterranean unfolds next to it, which is expanded to the coasts of the Atlantic from Cape Finisterre to Rio de Oro, to the Black Sea, and even a part of the Red Sea. Numerous tightly spaced labels along the coasts designate the regions depicted. Aside from that, large and important cities were depicted along with the most important rulers in small pictures. Finally, three large colorful tents in Africa give an indication of the local nomadism.


Alternative Titles
Giacomo Maggiolo - Carta Nautica del Bacino del Mediterraneo
Seekarte des Mittelmeers von Giacomo Maggiolo
Size / Format
1 map / 102.0 × 66.0 cm
Nautical map of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic coast of Cape Finisterre and North Africa
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Order of Saint Stephen (navy of the Medici)
Society of Jesus

Available facsimile editions:
Navigational Map of Mediterranean Sea – Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale (Rome, Italy) Facsimile Edition
Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato – Rome
Limited Edition: 499 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 Giacomo Maggiolo, Carta Nautica del Bacino del Mediterraneo

Limited Edition: 499 copies
Commentary: 1 volume by Laura Biancini
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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