John Ogilby

Artist's Biography

Christofel Colonus. (Christopher Columbus).

Copper plate engraving 1671
10 7/8 x 6 1/2" (276 x 164 mm) .
Very good condition. Black & white.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 33376
Price: $295.00
Publisher : Published by Ogilby, White Fryers, London
This splendid engraving is a fictional likeness of Christopher Columbus, the great explorer. According to a later publication of the plate, the portrait was derived from a picture painted in Nuremberg in 1661, but it is more likely that it was made up by an entrepreneurial publisher eager to satisfy the public’s demand for an image of Columbus. Published first in Montanus and Ogilby’s atlases, it was later reproduced by Dr. Drapper in "Die Unkekant Neue Welt" in 1673. Columbus is depicted within an ornate border comprised of fish and laurel leaves. He rests his arm on a large compass and sea chart and holds in his hand a complicated navigational device.

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, in an English translation of Arnoldus Montanus’ 'Die Nieuwe en onbekende Weereld, . . ." 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