Americae Retectio: Ferdinand Magellan 

Plate 4. This plate illustrates Ferdinand Magellan on his ship. At the centre Magellan is seated by the mast of his ship which bears a Spanish coat of arms. Magellan is holding a pair of compasses in front of an astrolabe. Apollo is represented on the left, carrying his lyre, gazing out towards the viewer and guiding the ship. An array of mythical creatures fill the sea and sky. A bird of prey (possibly the Arabic mythical bird Roc) carries an elephant in top left corner. A male figure with a bow is swallowing an arrow at the right. On the top right corner, a crowned deity (wind god) is seated on a cloud in top right.

Inscriptions in Latin. On image: 'FERDINAN. MAGALA.' In margin: 'FERDINANDES MAGALANES LVSITANVS...globum circumijt. An. Sal. ? .D.XXII.', '4.'

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 1589. 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: PAF7095
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Stradanus, Johannes; Galle, Theodor Galle, Phillips Collaert, Adrianus
Date made: circa 1589
People: Magellan, Ferdinand
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 230 x 300 mm; Mount: 406 mm x 559 mm

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