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Historical Map of the World - 1602 by Matteo Ricci

Code:
1W-WO-1602
Shipping Weight:
2.00 pounds
Starting at $24.95

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Great Universal Geographic Map

Matteo Ricci was born in Macerata, Italy, in 1552. In 1571, he entered the Society of Jesus and began his novitiate at the College of Rome, where he studied theology and philosophy as well as mathematics, cosmology, and astronomy.

In 1577, Ricci asked to be sent as a missionary to Asia. He arrived in Portuguese Goa (present-day India) in September 1578, where he was ordained in July 1580. He worked in Goa and in Cochin (present-day Kochi, India) for four years, until he was summoned to join the fledgling Jesuit mission to China. He arrived in Macao in August 1582 and spent the rest of his life in China, living in Zhaoqing, Shaozhou, Nanjing, and Beijing. He spent his last years, 1601–10, in Beijing, where he and fellow Jesuit Diego Pantoja were the first Westerners permitted to enter the Forbidden City. Ricci’s method of winning Chinese converts to Catholicism was, in part, to impress on scholars and officials the scientific and cultural achievements of Christian Europe.

At his house in Zhaoqing, he displayed a large Western map of the world. Chinese visitors were astonished to see the Earth depicted as a sphere and to learn that the Chinese Empire occupied a relatively small part of the world. They asked Ricci to translate the map into Chinese, which then was engraved and printed in 1584. All copies of the 1584 map have been lost, as have all copies of a second version that Ricci made in Nanjing in 1599. The map shown here is one of six known copies of the third version of the map, which Ricci made in 1602 at the request of Li Zhizao, a Chinese friend who was himself a cartographer. The 1602 version is the oldest surviving map in Chinese to depict the Americas and to reflect the geographic knowledge acquired by the European voyages of discovery of the 15th and 16th centuries. Shown are the five continents, Europe, Libya (Africa), Asia, America, and the rumored southern continent of Magellanica, and the four oceans, the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic. Ricci filled the map with ingenious annotations in Chinese that reflect the state of Western information (and misinformation) about various countries at the time. He described the Nile as “the longest river in the world. It flows into the sea through seven months. In this country there are no clouds or rain all the year round, hence the inhabitants are skilled in astronomy.” Of Canada he wrote: “The inhabitants are kindly and hospitable to strangers. In general, they make their clothes out of skins, and are fishermen by occupation.” In addition to its notes about particular places, the map contains geographic and astronomical information of great accuracy and sophistication, including a discourse on the size and shape of the Earth, an explanation of the varying lengths of days and nights, a table showing the distances of the planets from the Earth, and inset maps from polar perspectives (both north and south) included to show that the Earth is round.

Each map is produced as a detailed museum quality archive print. This special printing process is known as Giclee (zhee-CLAY) and is commonly used to produce very high quality fine art prints. Printed on Archive Paper, Luster Photo Paper, or Matte Canvas.

Map print ships rolled up in a durable cardboard tube. Frame is not included.

Archival Matte Paper - Premium fine art paper that provides accurate color reproduction with high-contrast, high-resolution print output and maximum image permanence.

Archive Paper Map Print

    • Museum quality archive paper for high-quality fine art.
    • Ultra smooth, neutral white matte finish.
    • Heavy-weight 230 gsm, 9.5 mil thickness.
    • Acid-free and printed with pigment inks for longer print life and enhanced fade resistance.
    • Pigment based Canon LUCIA inks provide smooth tones and rich colors in fine, precise detail.

Luster Photo Paper - A premium semi-gloss photo paper with a subtle eye-pleasing texture that produces a vivid, richly detailed print. This material results in an exquisitely detailed giclee print of substantially higher quality than a standard map poster.

Luster Photo Paper Map Print

  • Printed on 10 mil premium luster photo paper resulting in a brilliant, colorful image with a vivid life-like quality.
  • Pigment based Canon LUCIA inks provide smooth tones and rich colors in fine, precise detail.
  • Inks have a lightfastness rating of over 100 years, guaranteeing minimal noticeable fading over a very long period of time.
  • Printed using very high resolution source files.
  • Giclee printing is superior to traditional lithography in a number of ways: colors are brighter, lasts longer, and is a higher resolution.

Matte Canvas - A premium matte canvas material. Canvas offers a stunning fine art reproduction print perfect for doing a gallery wrap.

Canvas Map Print

  • Printed on 19 mil premium canvas material.
  • Pigment based Canon LUCIA inks provide smooth tones and rich colors in fine, precise detail.
  • Inks have a lightfastness rating of over 100 years, guaranteeing minimal noticeable fading over a very long period of time.
  • Printed using very high resolution source files.
  • Giclee printing is superior to traditional lithography in a number of ways: colors are brighter, lasts longer, and is a higher resolution.

*If planning to have the canvas stretched on to a wood frame we recommend the option with a 2" margin. Map dimensions will be 4" smaller due to margins.* The outer 2" area of the map is mirrored as a border for wrapping around a frame.

Canvas Map Print

Canvas on Wood Rails - A canvas print is mounted to wooden hanging rails placed along the top and bottom of the map. Ready to hang on the wall using the attached hanging cord. Wood rails feature a natural finish.

Canvas Map on Wood Rails