Homann 1718


Topographische Vorstellung der neuen russischen Haupt-Residenz und See-Stadt St. Petersburg : samt ihrer zu erst aufgerichten Vestug welche von Ihro Czaar. Maj. Petro Alexiewitz aller Russen selbst Erhalter etc., etc., etc., An. 1703 an der Spitze der Ost-See auf etlichen Insuln bey dem aussflus des Neva Stroms erbaut und zur Aufnahm der Handelschafft und Schiffarth für die Russischen Nation mit einer mächtigen Flotte versehen worden. Nürnberg : [Io. Baptist Homann, 1718. Christophe Daniel Ebeling Collection, no. 538. Gift of Israel Thorndike, 1818.

When Homann published his map of St. Petersburg, this city on the shores of the Gulf of Finland was a work-in-progress, founded in 1703 by Tsar Peter I to open Russian access to Western Europe via the Baltic Sea. The inset with the location map in the upper left corner includes an image of Peter the Great with a banner alluding to a quote from Ovid (“give me citizens and fill up the empty walls”) juxtaposed with the city’s eponymous Saint Peter, holding the keys to the gates of paradise. The cartouche represents a graphic apotheosis of Tsar Peter, whose portrait is surrounded by allegorical figures representing a broad range of the arts and sciences promoted during his reign - including geography, astronomy, history, mathematics, navigation, poetry, geometry, and engineering. The figure in the upper right holds a scroll with another quote from Ovid: “Bring the arts of peace to those accustomed to war.”