[Mediterranean Sea and NE Atlantic]

Single sheet. Col. ms. Medium: Vellum. Contents Note: Decoration: winds, cities, Atlas mountains. The Red Sea is painted red. Signed on the neck: 'jachobus bertran et berengarius ripol composu[...] hanch cartam in civitatis barchiae anno anativitate dñ m.cccc.l.sexto'

This is the oldest portolan chart in the National Maritime Museum's collections. These charts originated in the Mediterranean in the thirteenth century and take their name from the written sailing directions, 'portolani', which they supplemented and superseded. They were drawn and painted on vellum, using a network of intersecting rhumb (direction) lines radiating out from compass roses. Characteristic features include place names tightly packed onto the coast, together with flags and banners and vignettes of cities. Particularly prominent in this chart are Santiago de Compostela, Barcelona, Avignon (Auinyo), Genoa, Venice, Jerusalem (Santepulcia), Cairo, and Fez. The chart has certain features which are distinctive in the work of the Catalan school of cartography, of which Berenguer and Ripol were a part. These include the waved appearance of the Red Sea, the green, snake--like appearance of the Atlas mountains, and the 'disks of the winds' at the four corners and the neck (Greco, Silocho, Libeco, Maestro).

Object Details

ID: G230:1/7
Collection: Charts and maps
Type: Chart
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Bertran, Jacopo; Ripol, Berenguer
Places: Mediterranean Sea
Date made: 1456
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London; Caird Collection
Measurements: 98 x 63cm

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