Africa Propriae Tabula

Abraham Ortelius (1527 - 1598)

Coloured engraving

1590
  • About the work
    Location
    Country: Tunisia
    City: Tunis
    Place: British Embassy

    Interpretation about this artwork is under review

    Abraham Ortelius’ coloured and decorative map shows an early image of North Africa and the Mediterranean as they appeared in the 16th century. It is based on Giacomo Gastaldi's famous eight-sheet map of Africa made in 1573. It shows in great detail the northern coast of Africa between modern-day Algeria and Libya. The map centers on the Carthaginian Empire (modern-day Tunisia and Libya). Also depicted are the islands of Sicily (Siciliae) and Malta (Melita). Two decorated insets at the bottom of this map feature an intricate plan of ancient Carthage and a list of sources including Pliny the Elder and Ptolemy. This map was first published in Ortelius’ 1590 edition of Parergon, a supplement to his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern atlas of the world. 

  • About the artist

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    Materials & Techniques
    engraving, coloured engraving
  • Details
    Title
    Africa Propriae Tabula
    Date
    1590
    Medium
    Coloured engraving
    Dimensions
    width: 53.50 cm, height: 41.50 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Sifton, Praed & Co., January 1973
    GAC number
    11914