Gerardus Mercator natus Rupelmundae ... Iudocus Hondius natus in pago Flandriae

Jodocus Hondius (*1563 - 1612)
Copper engraving of a portrait. Mercator Hondius Double Portrait. Printed in Amsterdam by Henricus Hondius in 1628.

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This double portrait depicts two renowned sixteenth-century cartographers, Gerard Mercator and Jodocus Hondius. Created shortly after Hondius' death in 1612, the engraving was made by his widow Colette.

Gerard Mercator is famous for introducing a revolutionary cartographic projection, which he showcased on his 1569 world map. This projection is still used today in nautical charts. In his later years, Mercator worked on an atlas, which was published posthumously by his family in 1595 under the title "Atlas Sive Cosmographicae Meditationes de Fabrica Mundi et Fabricati Figura." However, the publication did not receive much public enthusiasm, leading to financial difficulties for Mercator's family. They were compelled to sell his library and the copper plates used to print the maps in the atlas. Jodocus Hondius purchased these assets and played a pivotal role in restoring Mercator's reputation. In his edition of the atlas, Hondius added 36 more maps, including significant contributions such as Spain and Portugal. While many of these maps were Hondius' own creations, he acknowledged Mercator's contributions and presented himself as the publisher. Hondius passed away at the young age of 48, and his widow and sons, who were skilled engravers themselves, took over his publishing work.

The present image serves as the frontispiece in the 1613 edition of the "Atlas sive Cosmographicae Meditationes," which continued to be published by Hondius' family until 1641. It was engraved by Colette, his widow, as a tribute to her late husband. The portrait depicts Hondius seated next to Mercator, symbolizing their equal standing, even though they never met in person. The two men are shown examining globes and consulting reference books, surrounded by the tools of their trade. A large wall map of Europe hangs behind them, suspended from an ornate cartouche that frames the scene. The cartouche is adorned with globes, scrolls, cross-staffs, and an impressive golden armillary sphere, reflecting the style commonly found in their own works. Colette herself passed away shortly after completing this engraving, but the image continued to be reissued for many decades and is widely regarded as one of the finest illustrations of the early cartographers.


CartographerJodocus Hondius
TitleGerardus Mercator natus Rupelmundae ... Iudocus Hondius natus in pago Flandriae
Publisher, YearHenricus Hondius, Amsterdam, 1628
Plate Size38.1 x 44.1 cm (15.0 x 17.4 inches)
Sheet Size47.7 x 56.7 cm (18.8 x 22.3 inches)
ReferenceCrane, N.: Mercator: The Man who Mapped the Planet


Very good condition.


Jodocus Hondius was born 1563 in Wakken (West Flanders). He became a globe maker and map engraver. In 1593 he set up his business in Amsterdam after he spent several years in London. He was one of the most important engravers of his time and engraved maps for van den Keere, Waghenaer and Speed. Hondius bought the plates of Mercator in 1604, added around 40 maps and published the expanded Mercator-Atlas first 1606 still under Mercator's name. After his death 1612 in Amsterdam, the business was carried out by his sons Jodocus II and Henricus.

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Jodocus Hondius: Gerardus Mercator natus Rupelmundae ... Iudocus Hondius natus in pago Flandriae.
Copper engraving of a portrait. Mercator Hondius Double Portrait. Printed in Amsterdam by Henricus Hondius in 1628.

Portrait - Hondius, Jodocus - Gerardus Mercator natus Rupelmundae ......

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