Portolan chart of western Europe by Pietro Vesconte

Description

Portolan charts were primarily of the Mediterranean and Black Sea, but were soon extended to include Europe's Atlantic coast. It is interesting to compare Vesconte's chart with the carte pisane, some 20 years older, which has here no more than an inaccurately sketched outline. The coastal outlines of portolan charts developed in a continuous process of adjustment and improvement. Here it is notable how the coasts regularly followed by Mediterranean ships – Portugal, the Bay of Biscay, the English Channel – are far more accurately drawn than those they seldom visited.

Full title:
Portolan chart of western Europe by Pietro Vesconte
Created:
1310-30
Format:
Map
Creator:
Pietro Vesconte
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
British Library, Additional MS. 27376*, ff.180v-181

Full catalogue details

Related articles

Portolan charts before 1400

Article by:
P.D.A. Harvey
Theme:
Transforming topography

What is a portolan chart? P.D.A. Harvey explores 14th century navigational maps.

Medieval maps of regions

Article by:
P.D.A. Harvey
Theme:
Transforming topography

P.D.A. Harvey explores medieval maps of regions.