Americae Retectio: Frontispiece

Plate 1. This is a title plate. The title is inscribed in cartouche alongside two portrait medallions depicting Amerigo Vespucci and Christopher Columbus. At the centre, the globe is labelled with three continents resting on the figure of Neptune, surrounded by a drapery held by a bird and the figures of Flora and Janus, representing Florence and Genoa respectively. The two cities' coats-of-arms are carried by figures on a chariot at top and the Italian coastline below also outlines Florence and Genoa.

Inscriptions in Latin. On image: 'AMERICAE / RETECTIO.', around portrait at left 'AMERICVS VESPVCCIVS FLORENTINVS.', around portrait at right 'CHRISTOPHORVS COLVMBUS GENVENSIS.' The continents are labelled on the globe, as are the Italian towns depicted below. In margin: 'Joannes Stradan. inven. / Adrianus Collaert sculp. / Ioan. Galle excudit.', 'QUIS POTIS EST DIGNVM POLLEN TI PECTORE CARNMEN CONDERE PRO RERVM MAIESTATE, HISQVE REPERTIS REPERTIS?', 'LUDOVICO, et ALOYZIO / Almanijs fratrib. nobil. Flor. / Joannes Strada. inven. D.D.'

Americae Retectio (The Discovery of America), is a series of four plates (a picture atlas) commemorating the sucessive discoveries of America by Christopher Columbus, Americus Vespucci and Ferdinand Magellan. In terms of artistic makers: the plates were designed by Stradanus, engraved by Collaert, and originally published by Philip Galle around 1598. Born in Bruges in 1523, Stradanus was a versatile, 16th-century mannerist artist who worked across a range of mediums and spent most of his artistic career in Florence. Three editions of Americae Retectio have been published: the first and last were issued from the original plates, with the second edition, issued in the early 17th century, being re-engraved by Mateo Florimi and published in the Speculum in 1638.

Object Details

ID: PAF7092
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Galle, Phillips; Stradanus, Johannes Collaert, Adrianus
Places: United States of America; Africa Europe
Date made: circa 1589
People: Columbus, Christopher; Vespucci, Amerigo
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Mount: 318 mm x 483 mm;Primary support: 230 mm x 303 mm

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