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Map of the World in Two Hemispheres f. 2

Map of the World in Two Hemispheres f. 2

Cartographer: Battista, Agnese

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1540

Shelfmark: Add. MS 21592

Item number: f. 2

Length: 23

Width: 36.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript Map

This is a map of the two hemispheres of the world. It is from a bound atlas of portolan charts dating from around 1540 by Battista Agnese, a chart maker from Genoa, who prepared many portolan atlases in the 16th century. Invented by mariners, portolan charts take their name from the Italian ‘Portolano’, meaning a written description of Catalan and Italian ports along a coastline. The first portolan Charts date from the late 13th century and represent an important change in the use of maps and charts. Until this point, most maps had held a religious significance and purpose, such as the medieval mappa mundi which was based on theological beliefs. The Portolan chart contrasts with this tradition as they are based on direct observation and first hand experience and have a practical purpose. Here the hemisphere's have been graduated for longitude and latitude. England and Scotland are shown but Ireland is omitted.

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