Renaissance Mapmaker Was a Mastermind and a Copycat

Live Science | 2/24/2018 | Staff
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After poring over a stunning, 60-page Renaissance-era map, a scholar has come to the following conclusion: The cartographer who draw the map in 1587 was both a mastermind and a copycat.

And not a very good copycat at that.

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In fact, the cartographer — Urbano Monte (1544-1613), a nobleman who lived in Milan, Italy — apologized for his poor drawing skills in a treatise he wrote for the map's audience.

Monte - Mentions - Sea - Monsters - Lot

"[Monte] mentions some specific sea monsters, and he says, 'These would look a lot better if the hand of the author had even the slightest bit of artistic training,'" Van Duzer told Live Science.

Despite this, the map still charms onlookers and offers clues as to how people viewed the world in the late 16th century. "You feel the author's enthusiasm, let's put it that way," said Van Duzer, who presented his findings about the map at Stanford on Friday (Feb. 23). For instance, Monte depicted the North Pole as four islands and the South Pole as eight.

Urbano - Monte - Scroll - Deal - One

The Urbano Monte's scroll (left) looks a great deal like the one on Michele Tramezzino's 1558 map. As a side note, the "septentrionalium regionum" on Tramezzino's map means "northern regions" in Latin.

The map center acquired the map in September 2017. Previously, researchers there reported that Monte had enough wealth and status that he didn't have to work, and instead spent his time collecting books and pursuing scholarly interests, Live Science reported in December.

Monte - Cartography - World - Map - Creatures

When he was 41, Monte took up cartography and created this world map, replete with mythical creatures, including sea monsters, unicorns and centaurs. Three editions of this map survive today — one at Stanford and two in Italy.

An intensive examination...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Live Science
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