The earliest printed map to focus on China

By ORTELIUS, Abraham, 1584 

Chinae olim Sinarum regionis, nova descriptio. Auctore Ludouico Georgio.

Asia China
  • Author: ORTELIUS, Abraham
  • Publication place: [Antwerp
  • Publisher: Plantin Press]
  • Publication date: 1584.
  • Physical description: Hand-coloured engraved map.
  • Dimensions: 370 by 470mm. (14.5 by 18.5 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 14979

Notes

The earliest printed map to focus on China, and the first to illustrate the Great Wall. It was the first western map of China drawn directly from the findings of the Portuguese mapmaker Luis Jorge de Barbuda, or Ludovicus Georgius. Barbuda was a Jesuit, and he made a manuscript map of China from information on the area gathered by the Jesuit mission. Arias Montanus passed this map on to Ortelius.

The map is oriented to the west. Japan is shown on a curved projection, borrowing from Portuguese sources. Wind wagons are shown in the north, a Chinese invention that also became popular in the Low Countries.



Bibliography

  1. Van der Krogt 8410:31, for atlas see van der Krogt 31:051.
    • Koeman, C and van der Krogt, Pieter (2000–2010). Koeman’s Atlantes Neerlandici. MS’t Goy-Houten: HES & De Graaf Publishers. 9 vols.