Americae Retectio: Christopher Columbus

Plate 2. This plate illustrates Christopher Columbus on his Ship. At the centre, Columbus stands on the deck holding a banner with Christ on the cross. His coat-of-arms is attached to the mast and a dove with a cross perches on the prow. Diana is represented at left, emerging from the sea. She is adorned with bow and arrows and a crescent moon, and is guiding the vessel. To the right, Neptune and other sea creatures stir up the waters. Just visible, to the far left is the third state with borderlines.

Inscriptions in Latin. On image: 'CHRISTOPH. COLVMB.' In margin: 'CHRISTOPHORVS COLVMBVS LIGVR terroribus Oceani superatis alterius p[a]ene Orbis regiones a se inventas Hispanis regibus addixit. An. salutis ?.VIIID.', '2.'

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: PAF7099
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Stradanus, Johannes; Collaert, Adrianus Galle, Phillips
Date made: circa 1589
People: Columbus, Christopher
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 265 x 348 mm; Plate: 215 x 282 mm

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