Thursday, May 8

The Atlas Blaeu-Van der Hem


I saw this atlas long time back at the British library where it was on loan. 

It's a massive tome. At the time this was made, you've got to remember that the books weren't printed in colour that easily so these were made by hand. 600 maps kids. By hand. Painted. Imagine doing such kind of painting with very very fine brushes, sometimes containing only a few hairs. 

These were meant for royalty. And the royals would commission these books for posterity. Like they would commission a painting or sculpture. 

Fine fine work. And it would open up vistas across the world. These royals will look at the maps and want to send out their people in embassies to go visit and trade and colonise. Maps are powerful things kids. Do you know that many governments still control maps? Or they force google not to show some maps of military bases or private land? It's location information. And so it's expensive. 

Cartography is a fascinating subject. Remember the map we got didu? That's almost 200 years old. She loved it. She is after all a professor of geography but you two also should realise the importance of geography and cartography. It's beautifully illustrated for Diya and it's all about politics, philosophy and economics for Kannu. 

Very interesting. See the images. And these were imagined just a few hundred years back. Lest you find this funny, remember the Malaysian airline which was lost in the South Indian Ocean? A searcher said that there are locations on the earth which are literally unknown. We know more about the surface of the moon and mars than earth. Go figure. 



The Atlas Blaeu-Van der Hem -

This documentary takes a look at the Atlas Blaeu-Van der Hem – one of the largest and greatest atlases ever assembled. Created by Willem Blaeu and his son Joan in 17th century Amsterdam, the atlas contains nearly 600 maps charting the world. It was published in different languages – Latin, German, French, Spanish and Dutch.

This documentary also shows how publishers created a facsimile of the historical eight-volume Atlas in the Austrian National Library.

No comments: