VISSCHER, Nicholas Atlas Minor Sive totius Orbis Terrarum contracta delinea (ta) ex conatibus bzw.

Price : 220.000,00 

La dorure des cartes de l’Atlas Mellon est si impressionnante que Cornelis Koeman, le célèbre spécialiste néerlandais d’Atlas, l'a décrit comme « l’Atlas le plus spectaculairement enluminé connu ».
The coloring of the present atlas and that of the Mellon Yale Center are of exceptional quality and may have been produced by the same workshop.

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The gilding of the Mellon Atlas maps is so impressive that Cornelis Koeman, the renowned Dutch Atlas specialist, described it as “the most spectacularly illuminated Atlas known“.

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A copy of such freshness, with so many maps in such sumptuous contemporary colors, is extremely rare. The cartouches are particularly dazzling.

Vgl Koeman, Vis 28.

The atlas, individually compiled under the title Atlas Minor, contains, in addition to the main part consisting of more than 120 maps by Nic. Visscher, supplements by J. Blaeu, Homann, Fr. de Wit, Valck and Schenk, rare maps by Carel Allard, Olearius, Le Vaßeur, de Beauplan, J. C. Berger, N. Sanson, Jac. De la feuille etc.: maps of the world and the poles; Germany with many beautiful and rare regional maps; as well as Belgium; England; Denubia; France; Greece; Holland; Italy; Austria; Russia (among others with Dwina and Volga); Switzerland; Scandinavian countries ; Spain and Portugal; Hungary; exotic countries and continents with interesting cartouches: Africa, Arabia, Asia, Azores, Ceylon, China, India, Madagascar, Palestine, Persia, Turkish Empire. Finally, America, Central America and South America: New York, Guatemala, Cuba, Jamaica, Martinique, Brazil. A map is missing at the end of the maps of France (perhaps the folded north of France), before the maps of Spain.

One of the most spectacular atlases.

An exceptional copy of Nicolaes Visscher’s Minor atlas, featuring an allegorical frontispiece and 203 double-page engraved maps.

All the maps were entirely hand-colored at the time, finely and sumptuously enhanced with gold. The coloring and gilding of the maps embody the best of the skills of the Dutch Golden Age map colorists (called “meester afsetter” in Dutch), and far surpass those found in other Dutch atlases of this period.

The quality of the coloring and the number of maps in this Minor atlas far surpass anything that has appeared on the market for decades.

The coloring of the present atlas and that of the Mellon Yale Center are of exceptional quality and may have been produced by the same workshop. The gilding of the maps in the Mellon atlas is so impressive that Cornelis Koeman, the renowned Dutch atlas specialist, described it as “the most spectacularly illuminated atlas known“.

The coloring of both atlases differs from the work of the renowned Dutch colorist Dirk Jansz. van Santen by the absence of a yellow and red border around the sharp lines of all the maps. Furthermore, in some cases, Visscher’s atlas colorist preferred to use more golden lighting than van Santen.

Apart from the gold, the hand-coloring is remarkable. The subtlety and attention to detail exceed that of the great class of “standard” 17th-century Dutch colorists; the mountains are individually and variably chosen from a range of appropriate colors, the russet peaks, sloping into green plains that extend far beyond the lines drawn by the engraver. The arrows and battlements representing cities are all carefully filled in with deep red. The cartouches on the maps of America are adorned with natives. This is not the usual hand-colored map composition; here, the colorist attenuates the engraver’s work, transforming it into a backdrop for astonishingly luminous watercolors.

Visscher atlases of this scope, condition, and quality of coloring are rare. Koeman lists 30 atlases published by the Visscher family from 1634 to after 1708; of these, only 2 contain more maps than the present example.

One of these, with 226 maps, recently sold for €1,150,000.

A precious and remarkable copy with huge margins, preserved in its contemporary binding.

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VISSCHER, Nicholas