Isolario, in verse, with coloured drawings and a chart of the eastern Mediterranean on vellum.

Sonetti, Bartolommeo (Italian, Venice) ca.1480. Isolario, in verse, with coloured drawings and a chart of the eastern Mediterranean on vellum.

Bartolommeo Sonetti was a Venetian captain. His real name was in fact Bartolommeo Zamberti, but he was called ‘da li sonetti’ because of his fondness for poetry, which is the form the text in this volume takes. The volume was also printed and published, with the plans of the islands being reproduced as woodcuts (see library collection: PBC5214 and PBD6073), which means that Sonetti is sometimes given credit as the author of the first printed sea atlas. There are various cartographic conventions adopted in the volume, including each chart being constructed on a compass rose, and offlying rocks being indicated by the crosses and dots common on navigational charts at the time. It appears that much of Sonetti's work was derived from familiarity with the islands of the Mediterranean, but he took care in the text to cite ancient authorities such as Pomponius Mela and Strabo, in keeping with a Renaissance stress on the importance of ancient learning.

Object Details

ID: P/21
Collection: Charts and maps
Type: manuscript
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Sonetti, Bartolommeo dalli
Date made: circa 1480; 1480-01-01 - ?
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
Parts: Atlases, Maps And Plans (manuscript)
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