Forlani's Map of the Americas
le navigationi del Mondo nuovo', by Paolo Forlani. Venice, 1574.
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This early map of the Americas was engraved in 1574 by Paolo Forlani, who also engraved the first map of Scotland on its own.
Working in Venice, Forlani was part of a school of cartographers in northern Italy, who often pooled their individual maps into combined atlases, known as 'atlas factice' or 'Lafreri atlases'.
One of only seven known copies, this rare map is not quite a reflection of the known geography of the coasts of America at this time. The widened peninsulas of Florida and California, and the extended eastern coast of North America show that Forlani was not aware of some of the latest surveys.
It is also interesting to see how little was known of the extreme north and south of the continents.