Tab. VI Europae totam Italiam ob oculos ponens...
Mercator's map of Italy published in 1695 by François Halma.
Interesting map depicting the Italian peninsula surrounded by the Adriatic Sea. It extends north till parts of France, Switzerland and Austria without naming the last two. In the south it stretches till parts of Sardinia and Sicily. It is decorated of an elegant title cartouche and a seas monster.
This map appeared in Mercator's edition of Ptolemy's Geographia, first published in 1578. It was reprinted in François Halma's Tabulae Geographicae, published in Amsterdam between 1695 and 1704, for three editions. Van der Krogt indicates that Mercator's 28 plates were most likely purchased by Halma and reworked, with modern title cartouches replacing the old ones and including texts on the meridian. The present copy comes from the Halma editions of this map with the new cartouche and wide margins.
Van de Krogt, I, [0906:1.2]
Gerard Mercator (1512-1594), originally named Gerard de Cremer, was a renowned 16th-century cartographer born in Rupelmonde near Antwerp. He was called the "Ptolemy of our time" by Abraham Ortelius as he published the first book with the title atlas Tabulae Geographicae mapping the ancient world based on Ptolemy's descriptions. After studying philosophy and mathematics at the University of Leuven, he became proficient in the construction of mathematical instruments, land surveying, and cartography under the guidance of Gemma Frisius. Mercator's career began as an engraver, with his name first appearing on Gemma Frisius's terrestrial and celestial globes in 1537. In 1538, he published his first map, a six-sheet wall map of the Holy Land. Mercator's innovative contributions include the introduction of italic handwriting to cartography and the production of a pair of globes in 1541 and 1551, a format that became standard for centuries.
In 1552, Mercator moved to Duisburg, where he continued his cartographic work and earned a living as a land surveyor. His notable works from this period include the wall map of Europe (1554), the map of Lorraine (c. 1564), the wall map of the British Isles (1564), the famous twenty-one-sheet world map with increasing latitudes (1569), the first book with the title atlas.
Van der Krogt, I, p. 31, 33
François Halma (1653-1722)
In 1687, François Halma was appointed printer-librarian at the University of Utrecht, marking the start of a flourishing career. He also received the title of Printer of the University of Franeker in 1701, and the honor of Printer to the States of Friesland in 1709. Originally from Langerak, today the Dutch municipality of Liesveld, François Halma established himself as a citizen of Utrecht in March 1699 and joined the guild in April of that year. His influence spread to Leeuwarden, where he became a citizen in December 1710 and a member of the guild in February 1711. Beyond his achievements as a printer, Halma left a varied literary legacy, with works of history, poetry and lexicography. On his death, his widow and son Hendrik Halma continued his work, ensuring the continuity of the family tradition in printing and literature.