Portulan C.G.A.5.c

Portulan C.G.A.5.c Facsimile Edition

Portugal — 1472–1482

On the way to becoming a maritime world power: the first of Portugal's amazingly realistic nautical charts and a testimony to the remarkable development of Portuguese seafaring at the time of the Renaissance

  1. An anonymous cartographer made the first of the astoundingly realistic nautical maps of Portugal

  2. The map displays the discoveries made along the African coast under the Portuguese flag

  3. It is also a testimony to the remarkable development of Portugal and Portuguese seafaring during the Renaissance

Portulan C.G.A.5.c

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (3)
Description
Portulan C.G.A.5.c

The Portulan C.G.A.5.c was created between 1472 and 1482 by a talented but anonymous Portuguese cartographer. It is the oldest evidence of Portuguese cartography, which produced arguably the most important school of cartography of the Renaissance and is known for its amazingly realistic nautical charts. Among other things, the map shows the discoveries on the coast of Africa, which Fernando Gomes made only shortly before it was created. In addition, the cities of Lisbon and Ceuta, which were flourishing at the time, were particularly highlighted. The level of detail of the correctly depicted coastlines is astonishing, making this map a particularly fascinating testimony to the early days of the Portuguese cartographic school, which is now kept in the Biblioteca Estense in Modena.

Portulan C.G.A.5.c

Portugal has played a special role in the history of cartography. Portuguese explorers set out into all of the lands and seas of the world and opened up completely unknown regions. In the course of this pioneering work, arguably the most important cartography schools of the European Renaissance developed in Portugal. Some of the most important historical works of the 15th century, which served as a cornerstone for our modern geography and navigation, had their origin here. Portulan C.G.A.5.c is the earliest example of a Portuguese nautical map. It displays discoveries on the coast of Africa by Fernando Gomes in the years 1471–2.

What is a Portulan?

The term portulan or portolan originally indicated a book with nautical information such as landmarks, lighthouses, currents, and harbor conditions. According to historical sources, such sea-books already existed in the 13th century. Beginning in the 16th century, the term broadened and from then on comprised not only the written descriptions, but also the accompanying nautical maps, which were contained in books. Today, the term “portulan chart” indicate a very precise type of map. The map Portulan C.G.A.5.c is one of these special maps.

The Geography of the Middle Ages

It is not known who exactly is responsible for the creation of Portulan C.G.A.5.c, but its formation period has been dated between 1472 and 1483. This is based on the special emphasis on the cities of Lisbon and Ceuta, which enjoyed a blossoming of trade and culture during this time. The faithfully detailed and geographically correct map demonstrates how astounding the knowledge of Portuguese cartographers was during the Renaissance. He managed to create maps completely without modern technical aids that are still of importance for our modern navigation today.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Portolano GCA5c
Portolan map C.G.A.5.c
Portolan-Karte C.G.A.5.c
Modena Chart
Size / Format
1 map / 60.0 × 73.0 cm
Origin
Portugal
Date
1472–1482
Language
Script
Humanistic
Illustrations
The map is decorated with detailed cityscapes and several wind roses as well as different colored flags
Content
Portolan chart of Europe, the Mediterranean, and new discoveries made along the West coast of Africa

Available facsimile editions:
Portulan C.G.A.5.c – Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – C.G.A.5.c – Biblioteca Estense Universitaria (Modena, Italy) Facsimile Edition
Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002
Limited Edition: A total of 499 copies

Portulan C.G.A.5.c – C.G.A.5.c – Biblioteca Estense Universitaria (Modena, Italy) Facsimile Edition
Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002
Limited Edition: A total of 499 copies

Portulan C.G.A.5.c – C.G.A.5.c – Biblioteca Estense Universitaria (Modena, Italy) Facsimile Edition
Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002
Limited Edition: A total of 499 copies
Detail Picture

Portulan C.G.A.5.c

Lisbon

In the 15th century, Lisbon, as the capital of the Kingdom of Portugal, developed into a leading centre of world trade. This Portulan map also takes this into account, which exceptionally highlights the city, here designated as vlixbona in red display script, by means of a schematic representation. Particularly remarkable is the exact course of the coastline, which also takes river mouths into account. Lisbon literally merges with the estuary of the Tagus River, to which it is geographically correct to approach from the north. Further down, the Strait of Gibraltar can be seen, while the Atlantic Ocean stretches out to the left.

Portolano C.G.A.5.c (map in tube)
Single Page

Portulan C.G.A.5.c

Nautical Chart of the Atlantic coasts of Africa, Spain, and France

This map is the oldest surviving document of medieval Portuguese cartography and documents their exploration of the West African coast after the discoveries made by Fernando Gomez during the years 1471–72. Various landing points are marked by flags with the royal Portuguese coat of arms and other heraldic devices. The islands and archipelagos off the coast including Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, and the Azores are colored red, blue, and green.

Three cities are illustrated on the map: Paris in the north while to the south we see Lisbon and the North African port city of Ceuta, which was conquered by King John I of Portugal in 1415 at the loss of only eight men before passing into Spanish control after the Iberian Union and continues to be an autonomous Spanish city today. Based upon all of the information found in the 60 x 73 cm map, researchers have dated it to between 1472 and 1482.

Portolano C.G.A.5.c (map in tube)
Facsimile Editions

#1 Portolano C.G.A.5.c (map in tube)

Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002

Publisher: Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002
Limited Edition: A total of 499 copies
Binding: Protected by a tube
Commentary: 1 volume by Roberto Bini
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: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
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#2 Portolani (set of 3 maps in case, includes C.G.A.5.c)

Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002

Publisher: Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002
Limited Edition: A total of 499 copies
Binding: Three maps stored in a case with the commentary volume
Commentary: 1 volume by Roberto Bini
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
Price: Login here!

#3 Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5.c)

Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002

Publisher: Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002
Limited Edition: A total of 499 copies
Binding: Walnut showcase houses the three maps, commentary volume, a wooden-bronze paperweight, and a magnifier.
Commentary: 1 volume by Roberto Bini
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
Price: Login here!
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