Contact address | Imprint

Cartographica Helvetica


Tamara P. Woronowa (Тамара Павловна Воронова):

The 1546 portolan atlas by Battista Agnese in the Russian National Library, Saint Petersburg

Cartographica Helvetica 8 (1993) 23–31


Battista Agnese's portolan atlas of 1546 was made during the heyday of the Italian map making tradition. At that time, Venice and Genova enjoyed supremacy in shipping and trade and made many successful discoveries. In contrast to other contemporary portolans which were used for navigation only, the ones from the workshop of Battista Agnese were published rather for representative purposes.

The described portolan atlas is kept in the Russian National Library at Saint Petersburg. It consists of 13 maps showing the state of knowledge in detail, and including many of the new discoveries. Worth mentioning is a world map designed in an oval projection which shows Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe and, as a special rarity, three doublepage mythical drawings by an unknown artist.

Three overlapping portolans in the same scale represent a combination of all oceans, and another four portolans fit together to one map representing the Mediterranean Sea.

Bibliographic note

  • Article translated from English and edited by Arthur Dürst, Zurich.
  • Also published as: Der Portolan-Atlas des Battista Agnese von 1546 aus der Russischen Nationalbibliothek Sankt Petersburg. Graz, Disentis, Moscow, 1993.

© 1990–2022 Cartographica Helvetica (Imprint)

Logo Valid HTML 4.01 Logo Valid CSS