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Hail, Queen Europe!

The very name of Europe is feminine: Europa, the Phoenician princess of Greek lore, abducted by Zeus. From Strange Maps, we find this cartographic representation of Europe as a queen: Spain the crown, Germany the hearty bosom, Italy the graceful arm, and Sicily the Orb of Europe. The map was produced by Sebastian Munster in Basel in 1570 and was recently up for sale from Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps.

“During the late sixteenth century,” the map gallery writes, “a few map makers created these now highly prized map images, wherein countries and continents were given human or animal forms. Among the earliest examples is this map of Europa by Munster, which appeared in Munster’s Cosmography.”

This post was published on Sunday, January 9th, 2011 4:08 pm. It has been categorised under Art Design Featured and been tagged under , .
Comments
  1. S. Petersen
    9 January 2011
    11:02 pm

    Interesting. You seem to have an entree in to arts and antiquities. I was intringued some time back by your highlighting a few paintings that Sotheby’s was selling in Dublin. One, by Lippo Lippi, if I remember right, was estimated at 60-80K. It turned out it went for some where around 150K. I tried to find out from Sotheby’s some convenient way of monitoring that sector of the market that contains Lippi. It appeared to be too complex and laborious. Do you think there’s any way of keeping track of such old masters as would be fit to have a prominent place in a Church in the less-than-100K range?

  2. valeria kondratiev
    12 January 2011
    8:24 pm

    Really interesting map, I wonder if it was created on commission for the Spanish, as Spain is the Head. I can see this map being a really controversial piece at the time. Any background on who commissioned it?

  3. Lusitanian
    4 May 2011
    6:49 pm

    Where’s Lusitania? I agree with Valeria, it’s probably a Spanish propaganda piece.

  4. 24 May 2011
    12:14 am

    Great fun, once again. As a fellow Lusitanian, do have a look at:

    http://theindiaroad.com/maps/

    Once you lay the lady on her side, so many interesting facets are revealed, as is often the case. Portugal is clearly the right brain, and of course the cross.

    And given the Swiss were running around chasing Saint Bernards and shooting apples off people’s heads, the cartography isn’t bad at all for 1570.

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