Label 1: 1509 Waldseemuller
These two images are reproduced from Lehigh's copy of Waldseemuller's Cosmographie introductio (1509). Waldseemuller also created a 1507 wall map with the first known mention of America.
For an overview of Waldseemuller, see an article from Smithsonian Magazine, which offers these notes about the 1507 edition of "Introduction to Cosmography". "The author of the Introduction to Cosmography laid out the organization of the cosmos as it had been described for more than 1,000 years: the Earth sat motionless at the center, surrounded by a set of giant revolving concentric spheres." Also, "with no fanfare, near the end of ... [this] minor Latin treatise on cosmography ["the study of the known world and its place in the cosmos"],... [the] author briefly stepped out of obscurity to give America its name—and then disappeared again. "
According to Van Duzer, ”Waldseemüller’s use of both Ptolemy and Vespucci as sources—of both ancient and modern authorities—is indicated in the portraits of them at the top”. This juxtaposition symbolizes the advances in understanding of the world--the dramatic extension of Ptolemy's geographical understanding occurring at the time.
Another of Waldseemuller's maps includes one with "gores", strips that can be wrapped around a sphere to create a globe depicting the earth's geography.
Van Duzer notes that in his 1516 map, "Carta Marina," Waldseemuller shifted from a Ptolemaic-type map to one influenced by nautical charts. This shift illustrates contradictory Renaissance themes, a respect for ancient knowledge but also a concurrent interest in new explorations. Waldseemuller discusses his reasons for creating a new map in the Carta marina, acknowledging the limitations of maps with antiquated toponyms and discrepancies between new findings and the classical geographic understanding.
Here we have an echo of the tension within Sylvanus 1511 map, which is next in this exhibition.
Martin Waldseemüller (1470-1521?).
Cosmographie introductio: cum quibusdam geometrie ac astronomie principiis ad eam rem necessarijs. Insuper quattuor Americi Vespucij nauigationes.