Duodecima et ultima Asie tabula continet Taprobana[m] insulam […]. (Copia)

Duodecima et ultima Asie tabula continet Taprobana[m] insulam […]. (Copia)

Autore

Ptolemaeus Claudius (Claudio Tolomeo).

Geografia, carte geografiche, incunaboli, incisioni, incision...

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Category: SKU: LD/143750-1
Descrizione

Anno MCCCCLXXXII augusti vero kalendas XVII impressum Ulme per ingeniosum virum Leonardum Hol. [Ulm, Lienhart Holle, 16 luglio 1482].

Final Sheet of “Ptolemy of Ulm” (first edition, July the 16th, 1482) bearing the geographical map of the Isle of Taprobana printed in a full-page woodcut and the beginning of the index on one side and the rest of the index and the colophon of the volume, on one page of the other side. The sheet measures mm. 370×539; the image measures, to the external fillet of the woodcut, mm. 280×265. Original hand coloring. On the woodcut you can see some oxidations due to the presence on the back of the sheet of a frame and of an initial illuminated with a green color that over time has oxidized the paper.
In 1482 Lienhart Holle published in Hulm an edition of Ptolemy’s Geography based on the maps of Nicolaus Germanus (c. 1420 – c. 1490) who had produced in Florence a series of magnificent handwritten atlases on parchment in the 1460s and 1470s. The model on which Hulm’s maps were patterned was the manuscript atlas that Nicolaus had offered to Pope Paul II and which seems to have been specially sent to Germany (without ever being sent back to Rome: it is kept at Schloss Wolfegg). The Ulm edition is the first atlas published north of the Alps and the first with the maps printed in woodcut (the two previous incunabula of Ptolemy’s Geography – Bologna 1477 and Rome 1478 – had copper engraved maps). The engraver of the woodcuts was probably Johann Schnitzer of Armsheim (the planisphere bears his signature).
The Greek geographer Megasthenes was the first who mentioned, in 290 BC, the island of Taprobana, making this fabulous island – then passed into medieval and Renaissance culture through Ptolemy – enter the Western imagination. There was never certainty of its location, identification (Ceylon?, Sumatra?) and even existence (after all for medieval man there was no clear division between what was experienced and what was simply reported by others). However, as a demonstration of the symbolic importance that a geographic place so remote as to be evanescent had assumed, in 1602 Tommaso Campanella chose Taprobana to place his “City of the Sun”.

Ptolemaeus Claudius (Claudio Tolomeo).