John Ogilby

Artist's Biography

Francisco Pisarro (Pizarro).

Copper plate engraving 1671.
11 3/8 x 7" (289 x 178 mm) plus wide margins.
Good condition. Black & white.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 33462
Price: $175.00
Publisher :
This is a grand portrait of Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish conquistador. Like the other portraits in this atlas, Pizarro is framed within an ornate border. He wears an impressive armor and flamboyant plumed helmet, and carries a sword. Pizarro was born in Spain but spent most of his life in the New World. In 1502 he lived on the island of Hispaniola, and accompanied Balboa when he discovered the Pacific. He later lived in Panama, where he became fascinated by reports of the rich Inca Empire in Peru. He made two voyages of discovery down the Colombian coast between 1524 and 1528, and continued his explorations southward, naming the new territory Peru. In 1531 he set sail for Peru with a force of 168 men, and after a several failed attempts he reached the Inca city of Tumbez. The Inca Empire was in the midst of a civil war, and Pizarro, took advantage of this internal unrest to invade Huascar’s dominions. He soon encountered emissaries of the Inca emperor, Atahuallpa, and invited to him to enter the city of Cajamarca. Pizarro immediately captured Atahuallpa and imprisoned him. After accepting a rich ransom for Atahuallpa's release, he had him executed. He founded Lima in 1535, and spent the rest of his life consolidating Spain's Empire in Peru. He ruled Peru until 1541, when he was assassination by a small band of Spaniards who he had betrayed.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