A gift from Mary Tudor to her husband: the kingdom of the future King Philip II in twelve double-sided superb cards of the famous Diogo Homem

Queen Mary Atlas

1555

Queen Mary Atlas

Queen Mary Atlas

— 1555

  1. A masterful gift from Queen Mary Tudor (1516–1558) to her husband Philipp (1527–98), the future King of Spain

  2. The famous cartographer Diogo Homem (1521–76) created twelve magnificent, double-page maps of Philip's empire

  3. This fabulous gift reflected Philip's tastes, who was a lover of cartography and a tremendous art patron

Queen Mary Atlas

Queen Mary Atlas – Add. MS 5415A – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Queen Mary Atlas – Add. MS 5415A – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Queen Mary Atlas – Add. MS 5415A – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Queen Mary Atlas – Add. MS 5415A – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Queen Mary Atlas – Add. MS 5415A – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Queen Mary Atlas – Add. MS 5415A – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

This masterpiece of 16th century cartography arose as a gift from Queen Mary Tudor to her husband Philip, who would be King of Spain: one of the most beautiful atlases in the history of illumination! As a work of the famous Portuguese cartographer Diogo Homem the Queen Mary Atlas enchants with twelve magnificent, double-page maps. These splendidly colorful, large-format depictions are gorgeously designed with numerous details. In this way, Philip II – a well-known lover of maps – was able to spectacularly visualize his great empire!

Queen Mary Atlas

This masterpiece of 16th century cartography arose as a gift from Queen Mary Tudor to her husband Philip, who would be King of Spain: one of the most beautiful atlases in the history of illumination! As a work of the famous Portuguese cartographer Diogo Homem the Queen Mary Atlas enchants with twelve magnificent, double-page maps. These splendidly colorful, large-format depictions are gorgeously designed with numerous details. In this way, Philip II – a well-known lover of maps – was able to spectacularly visualize his great empire!

The Best Cartographer of His Time

A special treasure is stored under the shelf mark Add. MS 5415A in the British Library in London: the famous Queen Mary Atlas. Around the middle of the 16th century, Mary Tudor (1516–1558), daughter of the English King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, gave the commission for this splendid cartographic work to one of the greatest members of that fraternity: the Portuguese cartographer Diogo Homem (1521–1576). He was the founder of a famous dynasty of Portuguese cartographers. After being accused of murder, Diogo Homem had to flee Portugal, going first to England and later to Venice. There he would become famous for his maps – usually of the Mediterranean Sea. Diogo Homem is considered today to be one of the greatest cartographers of his time!

A Cartographic Masterpiece

Diogo Homem completed his royal commission in 1555. Twelve double-sided maps on 24 pages of parchment visualize the image of the world at the time of the Renaissance. In a large format of 78 x 56 cm, the atlas impresses with its high-quality design. Numerous illustrations adorn the geographic depictions, e.g. compass roses, tables, flags and coats of arms, but also figurative scenes like ships on the sea and mythic, historic, and country-specific figures and the like. Large and famous cities were presented in small vignettes, and were designed with gorgeous colors, various decorative frames round out the magnificent overall impression.

A Gift for a Royal Husband

The so-called Queen Mary Atlas counts among the most beautiful atlases in the history of illumination. Queen Mary of England commissioned the atlas at the time of her 1554 marriage to Philip, the successor to the Spanish throne, son of Charles V and eventually King Philip II of Spain. The work was intended as a fabulous gift to her husband Philip. Philip II had a great passion for maps. Thus it was assuredly a great joy for him to receive this particularly accomplished specimen, a gift from his wife that visualized his extensive empire!

Codicology

Size / Format
24 pages / 78.0 x 56.0 cm
Date
1555
Language
Illustrations
12 double-page maps and charts
Artist / School
Previous Owners

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Queen Mary Atlas“

Queen Mary Atlas
Queen Mary Atlas – Add. MS 5415A – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Queen Mary Atlas – Add. MS 5415A – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Queen Mary Atlas – Add. MS 5415A – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Queen Mary Atlas – Add. MS 5415A – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Queen Mary Atlas – Add. MS 5415A – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Queen Mary Atlas – Add. MS 5415A – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
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Queen Mary Atlas

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
The Folio Society – London, 2005
Limited Edition
1000 copies
Binding
Full red calf with arms of England and Spain in black and gold
Commentary
1 volume (98 pages) by Peter Barber
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.
Regular price without login (like new)1,290 €
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