VAN DER STRAET, Jan (Stradanus)

Americae Retectio : Americus Vespuccius

ca. 1589
Size : 23 x 30 cm
Condition : A
Technique : Copperplate engraving
Reference : 657-1

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Jan Collaert after Jan van der Straet (Stradanus), published by Philips Galle, Americae Retectio : Americus Vespuccius, ca.1589 (second state), copperplate engraving, 23 x 30 cm.

Beautiful engraving by Stradanus illustrating Amrigo Vespucci on his ship.

The explorer Amrigo Vespucci is standing on the deck whose central mast has been broken. Vespucci's coat of arms is attached to the foremast. On the right, Minerva is represented carrying the shield with the Gorgon and protecting this expedition.  In the background, a warrior rides a turtle pulled by four lions. On the left, two sea creatures carry the limbs of drowned men.

Latin inscription on the image: "Americus Vespuccius Florentinus portentosa navigatione ad Occasum atque ad Austrum duas Orbis terrarum partes, nostris oris quas incolimus maiores, et nullis antea nobis notas saeculis, aperuit, quarum alteram de suo nomine Americam mortalium consensus nominavit. An. Sal. M. IIID "3

This engraving is part of Americae Retectio (The Discovery of America), 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.

VAN DER STRAET, Jan (Stradanus)

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.