Universal Atlas

Universal Atlas Facsimile Edition

Portugal — 1565

Recorded on 19 large-format and gorgeous maps: the discoveries of Portuguese seafarers according to Diogo Homem

  1. Diogo Homem's (1521–76) masterful work consists of 19 beautiful, large-format, two-sided maps

  2. The maps depict the geographic discoveries of Portuguese sailors in the Age of Exploration

  3. This early cartographic work has served as a template for our modern geography

Universal Atlas

fonds 342 National Library of Russia (St Petersburg, Russia)
Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Universal Atlas

The Universal Atlas of Diogo Homem arose in Portugal ca. 1565. The work consists of 19 large-format, two-sided maps, which are beautifully and colorfully appointed. The maps show all of the regions of the world that were known to the explorers of that time and served as a template for our modern geography.

Universal Atlas

The educated of the 19th century indicated with the term “portolan” sea charts a specific design type. These sea charts were concerned with nautical resources, which were to serve seafarers for the circumnavigation of dangerous zones of the seas and oceans. These sea charts were steadily expanded in the course of time and were corrected with the help of more and more geographic tools. Portuguese cartographers were the forerunners in the realm of cartography. Diogo Homem, one of the most gifted cartographers of all time, produced a true masterpiece of nautical geography with his Universal Atlas.

Cartography from Portugal

Diogo Homom was the son of the famous cartographer Lopo Homem, who produced one of the most important sea charts of the Middle Ages. Diogo reached a completely new level of medieval cartography with his work. He depicted not only known seaways, seas, and oceans, but also all of the regions of the main land, in which Portuguese explorers had penetrated. These findings decisively influenced our modern geography. Portugal was the forerunner in the field of discovery in the Middle Ages. Since the beginning of the 16th century, Portuguese seafarers set out in all the seven seas, they toured the Indian Ocean, America, and China, Brasil and Japan, Africa and Indonesia. The world was known to them in the same measure as it is to us today.

Impressive Illustration

The Portuguese discoveries were represented by Diogo Homem in a beautiful and colorful manner. His world atlas contains maps of America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and also depictions of the globe as a whole. He employed the most varied and valuable colors that were placed at his disposal for the particular geographic characteristics of the lands depicted. An astrological representation of the various spheres of the Earth and the zodiac signs indicate the great influence attributed to the stars in the Middle Ages. The valuable atlas is an outstanding example of the scientific achievements of the European Renaissance. It is found today in the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg.


Alternative Titles
Atlas Universel
Atlante Universale
Size / Format
40 pages / 45.1 × 29.4 cm
19 two-page charts
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Universal Atlas – fonds 342 – National Library of Russia (St Petersburg, Russia) Facsimile Edition
M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 2000
Limited Edition: 987 copies
Detail Picture

Universal Atlas


Like its northern neighbors, Mexico has access to both the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic (via the Gulf of Mexico). Rich in mineral wealth and enjoying a warm climate allowing for crops to be grown year long, it was one of the crown jewels of Spain’s colonial empire and is shown here with a coat of arms with gold and silver leaf. This map indicates how well surveyed Mexico already was in the mid-16th century and includes details of the Pacific coast and the peninsula of Baja California.

Universal Atlas
Single Page

Universal Atlas

World Map

This artful world map is a testament to the state of geographic knowledge in the mid–16th century and gives a fairly accurate impression of world geography with the notable exceptions of Australia, New Zealand, and Japan as well as much of North America. Mountains and rivers in particular are depicted, even on the yet-unexplored continent of Antarctica.

Sailing ships and sea monsters can be seen making their way between the continents of this brightly colored, gold-framed map. Labelled MUNDUS NOVUS or “New World”, South America is depicted with the mighty Amazon River, and the detail with which the Caribbean is depicted indicates the importance that the islands’ plantations and mines had to the economies of Europe.

Universal Atlas
Facsimile Editions

#1 Universal Atlas

M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 2000
Universal Atlas – fonds 342 – National Library of Russia (St Petersburg, Russia) Facsimile Edition
Universal Atlas – fonds 342 – National Library of Russia (St Petersburg, Russia) Facsimile Edition Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: M. Moleiro Editor – Barcelona, 2000
Limited Edition: 987 copies
Binding: Brown leather. In Leather case.
Commentary: 1 volume (334 pages) by Alfredo Pinheiro Marques, Ludmila Kildushevskaya and Jorge Sampaio
Language: Spanish
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: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Log in here!
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