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A Report by Andrew Collins
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Author Topic: PORTOLANS  (Read 3405 times)
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« on: September 30, 2007, 08:59:21 am »

When Bleau brothers presented their atlas to Louis the 14th in 1663 they wrote "geography is the eye and light of history". "The cartographer describes each section of the world individually with its cities, villages, islands, rivers, lakes, mountains, etc. and tells its history making everything so clear so that the reader sees the actual town or place before his eyes".

Maps should be considered to present geography as the eye of history. They record the history of a town as well as the 'political history of a region, they reflect the conflicts between political powers and beliefs, they reflect the artistic milieu of the period and above all the cartographer who often was also the artist, or sometimes the sailor or the traveller himself, his political tendencies, his interest in far away lands, his cultural background, his knowledge of environment and nature and his own world of fantasies and memories. No doubt the map makers in history have been referred to as "world describers". Their work enables us to contemplate at home and right before our eyes things that are farthest away.

Yet the artistic component of the cartographers work is equally significant. This interesting merge of mapping and picturing, should be the concern of the historians of art as these illustrated maps may well be a source for historical documentation as well as the art of painting at the time, and the aesthetic criteria prevailing in various art circles in the Mediterranean.

by: FSTC Limited, Sat 03 February, 2007
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 09:11:27 am by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.

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