Old colour example of the early title page from Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. From the 1571 or 1573 Dutch edition.
Backed at margins, several small tears in the image backed. Beautiful old colour.
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: Theatre, oft Toonneel des Aerdt-bodems.
Title page from the Ortelius Atlas. Printed 1571 in Antwerp.
Title Pages - Ortelius, Abraham - Theatre, oft Toonneel des Aerdt-bodems