de Ram 1690


Amsteldam. [Amsterdam] : J. De Ram, [1690].

When Johannes de Ram designed this map in the late 17th century, Amsterdam was the center of a global trading network and the wealthiest city in the world. De Ram takes great pains to emphasize the magnitude of the city’s achievements. Representatives of four continents (Europe riding the bull, Asia with its censer and camel, Africa with lion and scorpion, and America with its crocodile, bow, and arrow) assist in festooning the view of Amsterdam with garlands. The vignette of the busy harbor illustrates a city hosting sailing ships from every corner of the world. Accompanied by putti engaged with a plumb line, nautical charts, globe, compass, cross staff, and anchor, Mercury (instantly recognizable by his winged helmet and caduceus) symbolizes the commerce, efficiency, and spirit of adventure that made the Netherlands such a formidable maritime power.