John Ogilby

Artist's Biography

Guiana siue Amazonum Regio. (Guiana, South America)

Copper plate engraving. 1671.
11 1/8 x 14" (283 x 356 mm) plus margins.
Good condition. Black and white.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 33489
Price: $325.00
Publisher :
The general outline of South America was fairly well known to cartographers and mapmakers by the end of the sixteenth century. Following Magellan’s momentous voyage around the southern tip of South America, both the eastern and western coasts of the continent were extensively explored. A wealth of maps were produced by European publishers depicting the individual regions in South America, as well as the continent as a whole. Based on Blaeu’s map of the same title, this map is part of a series of identical charts published by the major map houses across Europe. Jansson/Hondius also did an almost identical version of this map. The map depicts Guiana and the Amazon and includes the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. The mouths of both the Amazon and the Orinoco River are also depicted. As with many seventeenth century maps of the region, the chart includes the large fictitious lake Parime Lacos, which never actually existed but was stubbornly reproduced in European maps for over a century. It also includes the mythical city of El Dorado, on the western shore of the lake, which likewise was fictitious.This map 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. Maps