The whole world at the time of the Renaissance: a magnificent nautical chart from Mallorca's famous cartography school

Portulan C.G.A.5.d

Mallorca (Spain) — Around 1450

Portulan C.G.A.5.d

Portulan C.G.A.5.d

Mallorca (Spain) — Around 1450

  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

Alternative Titles:
  • Portolano CGA5d
  • Portolan map C.G.A.5.d
  • Portolan-Karte C.G.A.5.d
Portulan C.G.A.5.d – C.G.A.5.d – Biblioteca Estense Universitaria (Modena, Italy)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Portulan C.G.A.5.d originated ca. 1450 in Mallorca, home of the most important cartography school in medieval Europe. The map shows the entire Mediterranean region, the British Isles, Central Europe, and Africa. The regions of the world as it was known then is illustrated with meticulous artistry and great attention to detail. The precious map was most likely used by seafarers for navigation.

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 x 76.0 cm
Date
Around 1450

3 available facsimile edition(s) of „Portulan C.G.A.5.d“

Portolano C.G.A.5.d (map in tube)
Portulan C.G.A.5.d – C.G.A.5.d – Biblioteca Estense Universitaria (Modena, Italy)
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Portolano C.G.A.5.d (map in tube)

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002
Commentary
1 volume
Language: Italian
More Information
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: Login here!
Portolani (set of 3 maps in tube, includes C.G.A.5.d)
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Portolani (set of 3 maps in tube, includes C.G.A.5.d)

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002
Commentary
1 volumeLanguage: Italian
More Information
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.
Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5.d)
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Portolani (set of 3 maps in deluxe wooden case, includes C.G.A.5.d)

1 volume:
Publisher
Il Bulino, edizioni d'arte – Modena, 2002
Binding
Walnut showcase and a wooden-bronze paperweight and a magnifier
Commentary
1 volumeLanguage: Italian
More Information
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.
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