North America

By BORDONE, Benedetto di, 1534 

Terra de Lavoratore

America North America
  • Author: BORDONE, Benedetto di
  • Publication place: Venice
  • Publisher: [Nicolo Zoppino]
  • Publication date: 1534
  • Physical description: Woodcut map, with contemporary hand-colour in outline
  • Dimensions: 85 by 145mm. (3.25 by 5.75 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 3220


One of the earliest maps to show all of North America, although the geography is derived from that of north-east Asia, as depicted in Bordone’s map of the world: the two often being interrelated at this time” (Burden).

Stretto pte del modo novo” depicts the area corresponding to the Caribbean, the land mass shown below it, South America. The fictitious islands of brasil” and asmaide” appear lower left.

From the second Zoppino edition of Benedetto di Bordone’s Isolario’, published in 1534. Bordone’s (1460–1539) Isolario…”, or book of islands, was the first printed isolario to encompass the entire world, the only printed isolario to precede it was the little book of Bartolomeo dalli Sonetti, 1485, which covered only the Aegean islands. The isolario was a popular genre that had first appeared in manuscript examples by Cristoforo Buondelmonte dating from the early fifteenth-century, Bordone expanded on the usual theme to encompass lands beyond the eastern Mediterranean, the Aegean archipelago and the Levant, to guide travellers to other parts of Europe and the world, stretching as far as the Indian Ocean, the African coastline and the New World.

Bordone’s work combines conventional and maritime cartography: the representation of settlements echo maps, and the coastlines are in the style of nautical charts. 


  1. Burden 8
    • Burden, Philip. (2007). The mapping of North America. Rickmansworth: Raleigh Publications.
  2. Shirley, BL, T.BORD-1a
    • Shirley, Rodney. (2004). Maps in the Atlases of the British Library: A descriptive catalogue cAD850 to 1800. London: British Library. 2 vols.
  3. Shirley, World, 59
  4. Schwartz & Ehrenberg page 17