Lacus Lemani Vicinorumq. Locorum Nova et Accurata Descriptio

Abraham Ortelius (*1527 - 1598)
Old coloured map of the Lac Leman, Lake Geneva. Printed in Antwerp by J. B. Vrients in 1609 or 1612.

More details

Reference 12646



Rare and extremely decorative map of Lake Geneva by J. B. Vrients. Vrients used this map only in 3 editions of the Ortelius atlases he published between 1608 and 1612. According to Marcel Van den Broecke, only 925 copies were printed in total. Since only a small percentage of the maps survived the long time, the low edition accounts for the rarity of Vrients' map of Lake Geneva today. This example comes from the Latin edition of the Ortelius Atlas of 1609 or 1612.

The map shows Lake Geneva with Geneva (Genève) and Lausanne. Decorated with three cartouches, three sailing ships, a sea monster and a mileage scale. Latin text on verso.


CartographerAbraham Ortelius
TitleLacus Lemani Vicinorumq. Locorum Nova et Accurata Descriptio
Publisher, YearJ. B. Vrients, Antwerp, 1609 or 1612
Plate Size37.0 x 50.8 cm (14.6 x 20.0 inches)
Sheet Size44.0 x 55.0 cm (17.3 x 21.7 inches)
ReferenceVan den Broecke, M.: Ortelius Atlas Maps, No. 55; Van der Krogt, P.: Koeman's Atlantes Neerlandici, 4985:31.


Especially the left half more strongly brownspotted, green tones oxydized but without damage, centrefold backed, one vertical fold flatted.


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: Lacus Lemani Vicinorumq. Locorum Nova et Accurata Descriptio.
Old coloured map of the Lac Leman, Lake Geneva. Printed in Antwerp by J. B. Vrients in 1609 or 1612.

Switzerland - Ortelius, Abraham - Lacus Lemani Vicinorumq. Locorum Nova et...

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