Cataloniae principatus novissima et accurata descriptio

Abraham Ortelius (*1527 - 1598)
Old coloured map of Catalonia, Cataluna, Catalunya. Printed in Antwerp by J. B. Vrients in 1608 or 1612.

More details

Reference 12413



Rare and very decorative map of Catalonia (Catalunya) by J. B. Vrients. Commissioned by Jacob Baptiste Vrients and engraved by Pieter van den Keere, probably the finest engraver of his time. Vrients used this map in the Ortelius atlases published by him between 1602 and 1613. According to Marcel Van den Broecke, only 950 copies were printed, a small number compared to most Ortelius maps. Since only a small percentage of the maps survived this long time, this is the reason for the great rarity of the Vrients Catalonia map today. This example comes from the Italian edition of the Ortelius Atlas printed in 1608 or 1612.

The map shows the Catalan Mediterranean coast from the Ebro river to France. In the centre Barcelona. Decorated with two cartouches, a sailing ship, a sea monster, a mileage scale and a compass rose. First state of the plate. Italian text on verso.


CartographerAbraham Ortelius
TitleCataloniae principatus novissima et accurata descriptio
Publisher, YearJ. B. Vrients, Antwerp, 1608 or 1612
Plate Size38.5 x 49.1 cm (15.2 x 19.3 inches)
Sheet Size45.7 x 56.7 cm (18.0 x 22.3 inches)
ReferenceVan den Broecke, M.: Ortelius Atlas Maps, No. 33.1; Van der Krogt, P.: Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, 6250:31.


Small tear in the lower margin in centrefold backed. Very good condition. Beautiful old colours.


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: Cataloniae principatus novissima et accurata descriptio.
Old coloured map of Catalonia, Cataluna, Catalunya. Printed in Antwerp by J. B. Vrients in 1608 or 1612.

Spain - Portugal - Ortelius, Abraham - Cataloniae principatus novissima et...

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