• Author: Abraham Ortelius
  • Date: 1584
  • Medium: Hand-colored copperplate engraving
  • Condition: Very good
  • Inches: 19 1/4" x 14 3/4" plate mark
  • Centimeters: 49.36 x 37.82 plate mark
  • Price: Sold

Antique Map of Italy, ITALIAE VETERIS SPECIMEN (Representation of Ancient Italy). From Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, Antwerp, 1584.

An understated painting treatment of this classic map of Italy, with the three cartouches strikingly rendered and colored.

A translation of some of the Latin text on the verso: "Those who compare the shape of a country to something else say that Italy resembles an oak leaf, as Plinius, Solinus have done, or an ivy leaf, as Eusthatius [does]. The later writers more truly compare it with a man's leg. One in our time [viz. Bünting] has depicted all of Europe in the form of a maiden, in whose right arm Italy is portrayed. And not without reason, in my opinion, if one considers the nature of the country exactly, and the famous deeds performed there. For even as the strength of the body is mostly shown in the force and ability of this member so this area in the past declared to the world what a power all of Europe will likely be.".

References: Van Den Broeke
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