World map on a cordiform projection
Ptolemaeus, Claudius & Sylvanus, Bernard
Date of Creation:
World map on a cordiform projection, Bernard Sylvanus, 1511
From Jacob Pentium’s edition of Ptolemy's Geographia, Venice, 1511. Printed in black and red using two separate registers. Wooodcut.
Although Portugal’s most prominent enterprise in the early sixteenth century was its successful route around Africa to the Indies, it also furthered its discoveries in Brazil and in the north Atlantic.
In 1501 an Azorean land-owner, Gaspar Corte-Real, and his brother Miguel set out from Lisbon with a fleet of three ships and reached Newfoundland. Miguel returned to Portugal first, carrying with him many Indians as proof of their success, while Gaspar delayed his return to investigate the new land. Gaspar, who probably entered the gulf of the St. Lawrence River, never returned, and Miguel, who then returned to America to search for him, vanished as well.
Sylvanus records their North American landfall as regalis domus, placing it far to the east of the papal Line of Demarcation and thus safely in Portuguese domain.
Terra laboratoruz, or Labrador, is the discovery of Joao Fernandes, a Portuguese-Azorian who sailed under the British flag and whose voyage is contemporary with that of the Corte-Reals. Fernandes may have reached eastern Canada, though Sylvanus, as evident on his map, was of the opinion that Fernandes actually reached Greenland .
South America is labeled Terra Sanctae Crucis (“Land of the Holy Cross”) as on the Ruysch map of 1507 (previous display). On the continent, Sylvanus marks a canibaluz romon (probably “domom”), the domain of cannibalism.
This map, and the other maps in the Sylvanus atlas, were the first to be printed in color (rather than being colored by hand after printing). That two separate registers were used to print the black and red is known because of a flaw in some strikes: in Asia, the place-name come (visible by following the 130th longitude to northern Asia), meant as a black ink word, sometimes printed lightly in red as well.
The practice of printing maps in color was not pursued, however, and except for a few isolated attempts, the printing of maps in color did not become established until the development of lithographic processes in the nineteenth century.