Visscher 1690


Novissima totius terrarum orbis tabula. [Amstelaedami : Ex officina N. Visscher, 1690?].

A double hemisphere world map invites graphic embellishments that take advantage of the sheet’s marginal curved spaces. Designers often responded to this challenge by including celestial charts or polar projections in the central sections. The other margins could serve as the arena for illustrating religious, cosmological, or astrological themes. The peripheral areas of this double hemisphere map by Visscher are adorned with personified seasons and their accompanying zodiacal signs: Aries, Taurus, and Gemini (spring) ; Cancer, Leo, Virgo (summer) ; Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius (autumn) ; and Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces (winter). The two figures at the intersection of the hemispheres represent the triumph of Christianity over pagan idolatry.