Cartographer of the Dutch East India Company, Joan Blaeu (1596-1673) produced a vast atlas, the 11’-volume Atlas Maior,’ containing hundreds of baroque maps. "He's the last of a tradition: the single, brilliant, magician-like mapmaker who says, 'I can magically show you the entire world,’” says Professor Jerry Brotton of the Queen Mary University of London.
Joan Blaeu was also the first to publish a map depicting Nicolaus Copernicus’ theory of the Earth revolving around the sun, a heretical concept at the time.
Bound as issued in vellum stamped in gilt, Atlas Maior is widely considered the greatest atlas ever published, even today.
Reproduced with permission from the David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries. A portion of the proceeds is donated to the Center in gratitude for its exemplary public service.