John Ogilby

Artist's Biography

Ferdinand Magellanus (Ferdinand Magellan.)

Copper plate engraving, 1671.
Image size 11 x 6 1/2" (27.8 x 16.5 cm) plus wide margins
Good condition.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 33380
Price: $175.00
Publisher : Published by Ogilby, White Fryers, London.
This is a finely detailed portrait of Ferdinand Magellan (1480-1521), the first explorer to circumnavigate the globe. Magellan is depicted surrounded by the tools of the explorer. Framed by an ornate border of palm leaves, Magellan measures the distance of a globe, indicating his vast achievements as an explorer.

Magellan was born around 1480, to a family of minor nobility in Oporto, Portugal. He began his life as a soldier, accompanying Francisco d’Almeida on an expedition to conquer ports in the East Indies. Convinced that he had discovered a passage to the East Indies, Magellan appealed to King Emanuel to lead an expedition to the Spice Islands. Rejected by the Portuguese King, he convinced Charles I of Spain to fund his expedition. In what was to be one of the greatest achievements in maritime history, Magellan discovered the southern Peruvian strait, now known as the Strait of Magellan, achieved Columbus’ dream of reaching the East Indies by sailing west, and proved that the Earth was indeed round.

This portrait appeared in John Ogilby’s seminal atlas "America: Being the Latest, and Most Accurate Description of the New World, published in London in 1671. Ogilby’s work is an English translation of Arnoldus Montanus’ Die Nieuwe en onbekende Weereld...", which was produced in Amsterdam earlier the same year. Considered the first encyclopedias of the Americas, both texts are richly illustrated with maps, views and portraits. With little exception, Ogilby’s work is a direct copy of Montanus’ atlas. Ogilby did expand his atlas by adding fresh material on the English colonies. Illustrated with over 122 magnificent engravings, Ogilby’s America was the most accurate compendium available of the New World.
18th-19th Century Subjects , Portraits , Famous People