Abrahami Patriarchae Peregrinatio, et Vita

Abraham Ortelius (*1527 - 1598)
Historical map of Israel, Canaan with the Wanderings of Abraham. Printed around 1595 in Antwerp.

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Rare edition of Ortelius' striking map of the Wanderings of Abraham.

A rare edition of the historical map of the Holy Land by Abraham Ortelius, unusual without text on verso. Shows the land of Canaan with an inset map depicting the wanderings of Abraham, the first patriarch of Judaism. Surrounded by 22 medallions showing scenes of Abraham's life. The map itself is drawn as a Flemish wall tapestry and decorated with two cartouches.

Kenneth Nebenzahl about this map:

The Wanderings of Abraham is among the most elaborate of Ortelius's compositions. It demonstrates his combined skills as a cartographer and an artist, and his accomplishment as an historian.

This copy of the important map does not come from the Atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum or Parergon as usual, but was printed separately as a single sheet, at the request of a customer. The used plate is the first of two almost identical plates (v. d. Broecke Ort 182), since the hatching in the background of the medallions is running from lower left to upper right. The medallions already have the known changes, makes it the second state of the plate. Since no map without text on verso from this state of the first plate was bound into an atlas, our copy is a rare, separately sold print. It was most likely bound into a composite atlas as the map has a guard on verso.

A very good and strong impression. Especially because the map is uncoloured, the beauty of the engraving is clearly visible.


CartographerAbraham Ortelius
TitleAbrahami Patriarchae Peregrinatio, et Vita
Publisher, YearAntwerp, circa 1595
Plate Size35.6 x 45.5 cm (14.0 x 17.9 inches)
Sheet Size41.7 x 54.4 cm (16.4 x 21.4 inches)
ReferenceVan den Broecke, M.: Ortelius Atlas Maps, No. 182; Laor, E.: Maps of the Holy Land: Cartobibliography of Printed Maps, 1475-1900, No. 547.; Nebenzahl, K.: Maps of the Holy Lands: Images of Terra Sancta Through Two Milleni, No. 34


Uneven upper left margin, minor soiling in the margin of the lower right corner. Very good condition.


Abraham Ortelius was born 1527 in Antwerp. He studied mathematics, Greek and Latin and travelled a lot across Europe. He established a business in dealing with books and drawing maps. His first remarkable map was a 8 sheet world map in the year 1564, but only three copies have survived. In 1570 he issued the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern Atlas with uniformly sized maps in a systematic collection. The term Atlas was not used until Mercator introduced it 20 years later. Most of the maps in Theatrum have been engraved by Frans Hogenberg. At the time of publication, the atlas was the most expensive book ever printed. Nevertheless it was a big success and around 7000 copies have been printed until 1612 in many editions and six different languages. Beside the Theatrum, Ortelius compiled a series of historical maps and published it in the Parergon Theatri which was bound with the Theatrum from 1579 onwards or published separately.

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Abraham Ortelius: Abrahami Patriarchae Peregrinatio, et Vita.
Historical map of Israel, Canaan with the Wanderings of Abraham. Printed around 1595 in Antwerp.

Holy Land - Ortelius, Abraham - Abrahami Patriarchae Peregrinatio, et Vita

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