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Americae Retectio : Christopher Columbus
Jan Collaert after Jan van der Straet (Stradanus), published by Philips Galle, Americae Retectio : Christopher Columbus, ca.1589 (second state), copperplate engraving, 23 x 30 cm.
Beautiful engraving by Stradanus illustrating Christophe Colomb on his ship guided by the goddess Diana.
This print represents Christopher Columbus on his ship. In the center, the explorer is shown standing on the deck, holding a banner with Christ on the cross. The flag of the Crown of Castile is attached to the mast and a dove with a cross is perched on the bow of his caravel. The goddess Diana is depicted on the left, emerging from the sea. She is adorned with a bow and arrow and a crescent moon, guiding the ship. To the right, Neptune and other sea creatures stir the waters. On the far left, the New World is visible. On the far right, three islands are also visible, Jamaica, Cuba and Hispaniola.
Inscriptions in Latin. On the image: CHRISTOPH. In the margin: "CHRISTOPHORVS COLVMBVS LIGVR terroribus Oceani superatis alterius p[a]ene Orbis regiones a se inventas Hispanis regibus addixit. An. salutis ?.VIIID.", "2
This engraving belongs to Americae Retectio (The Discovery of America) which is a series of four plates commemorating the successive discoveries of America by Christopher Columbus, Americus Vespucci and Ferdinand Magellan. Artistically, the plates were drawn by Stradanus, engraved by Collaert and originally published by Philip Galle around 1589. Born in Bruges in 1523, Stradanus was a versatile sixteenth-century Mannerist artist who worked in several media and spent most of his artistic career in Florence.
Three editions of the Americae Retectio were published: the first and last were made from the original plates, the second edition, published in the early 17th century, having been re-engraved by Mateo Florimi and published in the Speculum in 1638.
Jan Van der Straet, also known as Joannes Stradanus was a Flemish painter, draftsman and illustrator. He was born in Bruges in 1523 and was active during the 16th century in Florence where died in 1605.