Map of the River Danube

Willem (Guillaume) Blaeu ( - 1638)

Coloured engraving

  • About the work

    This large format map shows the course of the Danube, Europe’s longest river, and the surrounding lands. The River is depicted from what is now southern Germany, where the Danube’s source is located in the Back Forest, to the point where the river meets the Black sea at the Danube Delta, in parts of Romania and the Ukraine. Either side of the title cartouche are figures representing the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and the Turkish Sultan. The scene around the lower cartouche is an allegoric depiction of the river and its tributaries.

    This map may be from the first edition of the Latin version of Blaeu’s world atlas, 'Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive atlas novus', which was published in 1635 as a two volume set, in German (208 maps), Dutch (207 maps), Latin (207 maps) and French (208 maps). 
  • About the artist
    Willem (Guillaume) Blaeu was born in Uitgeest, the Netherlands. He studied under Danish astronomer and maths teacher Tych Brahe, before founding a company of globe and instrument makers in 1596, which he later expanded to publish maps, topographical prints and sea charts. By 1604 he was producing atlas size maps and, by 1608, had published a world map and a marine atlas. In 1633 he was appointed chartmaker to the East India Company. He planned to publish a major atlas of the most up-to-date maps of the entire world. However, progress was slow and the work was not completed until after his death. When he died in 1638 the business flourished under his sons, Joan and Cornelis, until a fire of 1672 destroyed the premises and equipment.
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  • Details
    Map of the River Danube
    Coloured engraving
    height: 50.00 cm, width: 98.30 cm
    Purchased from Francis Edwards, November 1949
    GAC number