Portulan Atlas by Juan Riczo

Portulan Atlas by Juan Riczo

Naples (Italy) — 1580

Magnificent ships as ornaments: 19 double-page maps that depict the entire known world

  1. This cartographic work by Juan Riczo (active 1580–1615) consists of a total of 19 grandiose double-page maps

  2. The entire known world is surveyed, with the focus on the seas, bodies of water, and coasts

  3. The atlas is presented in an eminently aesthetic design with glorious ships populating the seas

Portulan Atlas by Juan Riczo

Colección Tabula Americae, 6-7 Biblioteca del Palacio Real (Madrid, Spain)
  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Portulan Atlas by Juan Riczo

The Portolan Atlas by Juan Riczo, also known as the Atlas of Oliva, is an exciting testimonial to the cartography of the world in the 16th century. The renowned Spanish cartographer Juan Rico, who is also known by his pseudonym Oliva, completed his atlas in the year 1580. The cartographic work consists of a total of 19 grandiose maps, each on a double page, including two by Baldassare Maggiolo. As a result, the entire world as it existed at that time is surveyed, with the focus on the seas, bodies of water, and coasts. The weightiness of the early maps of the American continent is increased by the Portolan Atlas by Juan Riczo!

Portolan Atlas by Juan Riczo

The Portolan Atlas by Juan Riczo, also known as the Atlas of Oliva, is an exciting testimonial to the cartography of the world in the 16th century. The renowned Spanish cartographer Juan Rico, who is also known by his pseudonym Oliva, completed his atlas in the year 1580. The cartographic work consists of a total of 19 grandiose maps, each on a double page. As a result, the entire world as it existed at that time is surveyed, with the focus on the seas, bodies of water, and coasts. The weightiness of the early maps of the American continent is increased by the Portolan Atlas by Juan Riczo!

A Spaniard in Italy

Joan or Juan Riczo is identified as the artist responsible for the famous nautical world atlas. Juan Riczo, also known by the pseudonym Oliva, was a famous Spanish cartographer, who was active in Sicilian Messina in the years 1580–1615. The portolan atlas, his magnum opus, was published in Naples in the year 1580. It contains a magnificent miniature of the Crucifixion, inter alia, in the atlas itself. Under the depiction with Mary and Joseph standing at either side of Christ on the cross, one notices an inscription by the author: “Joan Riczo, alias Oliva, figlo de maestro dominico in napole. Año 1580.”

Artful Décor and Geographic Precision

The atlas by Oliva assembles 19 grandiose maps measuring 43 x 29 cm on 38 pages, including two by Baldassare Maggiolo. All of them depicted on a double-page, respectively. Special attention is paid to the coasts, where countless labels identify cities and locations. Glorious, splendid ships populate the seas, which are crossed by numerous nautical markers. Thus, the atlas is presented in an eminently aesthetic design. Marvelous frames surround the maps, which are designed with precious and artful ornamentation.

All the World’s Oceans and Much More

Juan Riczo, in his nautical world atlas, comprehensively represented the entire geographic knowledge of his time. One finds early maps of the newly discovered American continent, inter alia. Additionally, there are maps of the Aegean Sea with Greece and numerous islands, a map of the Sea of Marmara and Asia Minor, and additionally of the eastern Mediterranean with Africa, and a map of South America’s Atlantic coast “from the Antilles to northern Brazil.” The overview is also accompanied by a mappa mundi, a world map with winds that blow around from all directions. An additional map – though not nautical – shows the Near East and the Caspian Sea. The entire world as it existed at that time is depicted, from the Indian to the Pacific Ocean, from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, and the recently discovered and newly settled regions of America and India in particular!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Oliva Atlas
Atlas de Oliva
Atlas de Oliva o Atlas Portulano J. Riczo
Portolan Atlas von Juan Riczo
Joan Oliva Atlas
Size / Format
38 pages / 43.0 × 29.0 cm
Origin
Italy
Date
1580
Language
Content
17 maps by Joan Riczo "Oliva"; 2 maps of the Mediterranean by Baldassare Maggiolo; all double-pages
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Count of Gondomar

Available facsimile editions:
Portulan Atlas by Juan Riczo – Colección Tabula Americae, 6-7 – Biblioteca del Palacio Real (Madrid, Spain)
Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 1987
Limited Edition: 980 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 Atlas de Oliva

Publisher: Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 1987
Limited Edition: 980 copies
Binding: Moorish style leather with studded and gold plated cloves
Commentary: 1 volume (96 pages) by María Luisa Martín-Merás
Languages: Spanish or French
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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