Portulan C.G.A.5.d

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

Mallorca (Spain) — Ca. 1450

The whole world at the time of the Renaissance in one map: the geographical knowledge of the 15th century in a magnificently illuminated sea chart from the famous cartographic school of Mallorca

  1. This nautical map originated in Mallorca, home of the most important cartography school in Europe

  2. The map shows the entire Mediterranean region, the British Isles, Central Europe, and Africa

  3. It displays the entire world as it was known to the geographers and cartographers of the Renaissance

Portulan C.G.A.5.d

Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Price: Log in here!
  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (3)
Description
Portulan C.G.A.5.d

The Portulan C.G.A.5.d was created around 1450 in the famous Majorcan school of cartography. The map is a fascinating testimony to the awakening Renaissance and is among the most important geographical material of the Middle Ages still preserved today. It shows the entire Mediterranean region, the British Isles, part of Central Europe and the west coast of Africa as far as Cape Bojador. The areas of the then known world were impressively depicted here in great detail and with artistic care. Significant landmarks such as mountains and important trading cities were particularly emphasised. Despite its rather rich pictorial decoration, the precious map was very likely used by seafarers for navigation, which makes it a particularly fascinating testimony to the achievements of the Majorcan school of cartography, now kept in the Biblioteca Estense in Modena.

Portulan C.G.A.5.d

In the 15th century, Spain and Portugal were the lands under whose flags the most expeditions into largely unexplored regions of the world were made. In the course of many expeditions and discoveries, the most renowned school of geography and cartography in Europe took shape in Spain. The maps, which originated during the time of the awakening Renaissance, belong among the most important geographical material of the entire Middle Ages. It is truly astounding, how true to detail and correct the Spanish and Portuguese cartographers could represent the regions of the world they studied, and completely without the modern technical aids of our time. Portulan C.G.A.5.d is an outstanding example of the excellent work of medieval scholars.

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.d is one of these special maps.

The Medieval World of Navigation

Portulan C.G.A.5.d displays the entire medieval world as it was known to the geographers and cartographers of the Renaissance. The shores of the Atlantic from the British Isles to Cape Bojador in Africa are depicted along with part of Central Europe down to the territories of North Africa. The Alps in particular were decoratively rendered. Similarly, the Pyrenees Mountains and the most important cities of Europe such as Venice, Genoa, Prague, Granada, Santiago de Compostela, and the Balearic Islands are meticulously depicted. The depiction of the African continent is particularly interesting. There the Atlas Mountains tower in luminous colors and an inscription near the Red Sea reminds one of the Flight of the Hebrews from Egypt during which Moses parted that sea.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Portolano CGA5d
Portolan map C.G.A.5.d
Portolan-Karte C.G.A.5.d
Size / Format
1 map / 59.0 × 76.0 cm
Origin
Spain
Date
Ca. 1450
Language
Script
Humanistic
Illustrations
The map is decorated with enthroned figures, detailed views of cities, medallions of the four winds and various colored flags, coats of arms, and landmarks
Content
Map of the Mediterranean including parts of North Africa, Europe, and the British Isles
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Portulan C.G.A.5.d – Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – C.G.A.5.d – 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.d – C.G.A.5.d – 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.d – C.G.A.5.d – 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.d

Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains stretch around 2,300 kilometres through the northwest of the African continent across the modern-day states of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. At 4167 metres, the Toubkal is the highest peak of the huge mountain range, which is made up of several mountain chains. The Portulan map shows it as a broad green strip stretching from the Atlantic coast in the west to the area of present-day Libya, where three other mountains are located: the Haruj, the Jebel Akhdar and foothills of the Tibesti Mountains. On the map, they correspond to the three eastern branches of the green strip that connects the Atlas with the Libyan mountains.

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

Portulan C.G.A.5.d

Nautical Chart of the Mediterranean and North Africa

Created in Mallorca ca. 1450–60, this colorful map depicts the Mediterranean and Black Seas as well as the rivers that served as highways to the interiors of Western and Central Europe and North Africa. Both the Alps and the Pyrenees Mountains are drawn in a typical T-shape (the former green and the latter blue). The Atlantic coast ranges from the British Isles to Cape Bojador on the Moroccan coast. Other European locations highlighted by the map include Venice, Genoa, Prague, Granada, Santiago de Compostela, and the Balearic Islands.

The cities of Central Europe are labelled and drawn upside down so as to be more easily read from the upper margin, clearly designed to be laid in the center of a room and examined from all sides. Much detail is given to North Africa with depictions of the Atlas Mountains, various seated figures, and a caption next to the Red Sea describing the flight of the Israelites from Egypt. Human heads depicted in profile occupy the center of the 59 × 76 cm map’s various compass roses.

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

#1 Portolano C.G.A.5.d (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
Price: Log in here!

#2 Portolani (set of 3 maps in case, includes C.G.A.5.d)

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.d)

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: 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!
You might also be interested in:
Portulan C.G.A.5.b Facsimile Edition
Portulan C.G.A.5.b
Mallorca (Spain) – 1450–1460

Precise coastlines and important landmarks for practical use at sea: an impressive medieval map by the famous Mallorcan cartographic school from the mid-15th century

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

Experience More
The 1439 Portolan Chart by Gabriel de Vallseca Facsimile Edition
The 1439 Portolan Chart by Gabriel de Vallseca
Mallorca (Spain) – 1439

The first known depiction of the Azores: a map of the Atlantic stretching from Scandinavia to northwestern Africa with islands both real and imagined

Experience More
Portulano de Mateo Prunes Facsimile Edition
Portulano de Mateo Prunes
Mallorca (Spain) – Ca. 1563

The contemporary state of the science of marine navigation: noble compass roses, mighty cities, and impressive sailing ships on the map made by a member of one of the oldest families of cartographers in Mallorca

Experience More
Filter selection
Publisher