Copper engraved map sheet with full contemporary colour and silver highlights, with no text on verso, recently remounted upon a larger sheet of paper with added French lines in gilt and blue (Very Good, excellent original colour, map trimmed to neatline as it was once bound in a contemporary atlas factice), map proper: 37,5 x 48,5 cm (19 x 14,7 inches).
A detailed, original coloured separately issued map of Diecese Liege was made by Abraham Ortelius. It corresponds the first state of the plate, which was replaced in 1595.
This example was published separately without text on the back and bound in an atlas factice. It was originally coloured with a magnificent late 16th full hand colour, close to the frescoes of the Gallery of Maps in Vatican, which were made between 1580-1583.
Such colouring, which is more typical for the murals, and is seldom seen on works of paper. It is amongst the most decorative 16th century colouring we have encountered.
Abraham Ortelius (1527-98) is widely hailed as the ‘The Father of Modern Cartography,’ being the compiler of the first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (meaning ‘Theatre of the World’), first issued in Antwerp in 1570. Ortelius was a shrewd businessman who went to great lengths to obtain the finest possible source maps and to engrave works of great artistic beauty and intellectual merit. He was the earliest map mogul, as his publishing concern was the first cartographic enterprise to become a great international commercial empire. Ortelius’s maps were the most popular and widely recognized of his time and they had an enduring influence as numerous mapmakers copied them for many decades after his death.
References: Van den Broecke, 63.