Tijdschrift voor de geschiedenis van de kartografie in Nederland
During the 17th century maps were sometimes handcolored in
the Netherlands by the cartographer or surveyor himself or by
a painter, but most often by artists known as 'verligters' or
'kaartafzetters'. Little is known about their education, their
methods and materials, and their daily practice. Recently a little
manuscript book with some remarky notes on illumination and
coloration could be attributed to the Alkmaar cartographer and
surveyor Jan Dirksz Zoutman. It was found as a fragmented
copy with changed pagenumbers and -order in an unpublished
book on painting techniques written in 1679 by his pupil Simon
Eikelenberg. In other writings Eikelenberg designates Zoutman
as a surveyor and a 'net verligter', that is, a good illuminator.
In this times Zoutman must have been rather wellknown for this
quality hidden until now. The copy of his manuscript on coloring could be reconstructed to its original from and appears to
be almost complete, with 44 pages, 2-4 of which are missing.
They contain about 117 recipes dealing with preparing and
preserving colors, laying 'grounds' for speci ' al colors, the different use of binding media, coloring objects, etc., - a short
survey of which is given. The manuscripts reflects the materials
and methods of Zoutman in particular, and, the way 'kaartafzetters' in the seventeenth century might have gathered their
information in general. They used old recipebooks and
adapted the information to suit their own experience. Zoutman
used an old treatise on coloring written or compiled by Simon
Andriessen in 1551 (reprinted in different books until 1696). This is evident in about 10% of the prescriptions; the other information seems to be original. In an appendix all first lines of the recipes are given. (back)
Marijke Barend-van Haeften
Nicolaas de Graaff; surgeon, spy, draughtsman, mathematician and geometrician
[Caert-Thresoor 9(1990) 1, pp. 8-13]
In the Bodel-Nijenhuis collection at Leiden University there are
four unique ink-drawings and watercolours made in 1671 in
Bengal by the Dutch naval surgeon Nicolaas de Graaff (1619-
1688). In his lifetime, De Graaff made a total of sixteen
voyages, five of which were made to the East Indies, in the service of the Dutch East India Company. Towards the end of his
life, he recorded these five voyages in the well-known Reisen
van Nicolaus de Graaff na de vier gedeeltens des Werelds, als
Asia, Affica, America en Europa [...], which was published
posthumously in 1701. In the Reisen we learn that De Graaff's
third voyage brought him to Bengal. In the description of this
trip, he tells us how he was requested by the directors of the
Dutch East India Company to make drawings of the major fortifications, towns and palaces, and how he was subsequently
imprisoned at Mongeer for seven weeks on the suspicion of
being a spy. The text in the Reisen contains extensive descriptions of the drawings and watercolours which are now in the
His next assignment De Graaff received in 1678 from Governor Jacob Lobs: he was requested to map the Malabar coast. The original results of this assignment have not been preserved. There are only the copies that were made towards the end of the seventeenth century by Isaac de Graaff for his great VOC-Atlas. Five of the drawings in that atlas must have been copied from Nicolaas de Graaff's sketches. I am referring here to the prints that have been described in the Leupe catalogue as VEL 885, VEL 886, VEL 887, VEL 888 and VEL 892.
Four of these are dated 1678. Nicolaas de Graaff's text adds interesting information on how the drawings were made and on how the Dutch East India Company went about mapping sections of the Malabar coast in those days.
In Isaac de Graaff's VOC-Atlas there are two drawings of the Arabian cities Bassora (dated 1677) and Gamron (no date) which may have been copied from original drawings by Nicolaas de Graaff. In the Reisen he gives a description of a voyage to Persia in 1677, during which he made an extensive tour of both cities.
From the above it may be obvious that a thorough inspection of seventeenth- and eighteenth century travelling records is not only useful for (literary) historians, but that the information recorded there will sometimes answer questions about or add to our knowledge of individual drawings or maps, as well as to the history of cartography in general. (back)
The map curator. His knowledge and abilities
[Caert-Thresoor 9(1990) 2, pp. 21-24]
The tasks of the map curator cover two areas: the care of
his collection (acquisition, cataloguing, conservation etc.)
and the service to his clients. In both areas the curator
needs specific knowledge, respectively general knowlegde
of maps and map curatorship and local knowledge (i.e.
knowledge concerning his own collection and related
topics). In particular the 'general' knowledge can be
presented in a course.
Until recently there was no adequate instruction for curators op map collections and comparable documentary collec- tions of drawings, prints and photographs, the so-called topograhical-historical atlases (atlas in this context means collection) in the Netherlands. Since a few years however the G.O. Foundation in The Hague (note 2) has a course for map curators and curators of topographic-historical atlases. Since the training of the securators is in the interest of both the owners of the collections and the users of maps, the G.O. aims to discuss the contents and the level of the course with these two groups. (back)
A townplan with a built-in compass
[Caert-Thresoor 9(1990) 2, pp. 25-26]
In 1990 the Paris editor Hachette & Companie published a curious townplan with a built-in cornpass. This map/instrument got the French title Boussole-guide dorientation. The author suggests that possibly the inventor, when he made it, derived his inspiration from the 16th or 17th century Astrolobium Catholicum. In this article it is described how the compass works, as well as its pros and cons. (back)
Jan van Bracht
The 'Allegorie op de Schilderkunst' (Allegory on the art of painting) by Johannes Vermeer
[Caert-Thresoor 9(1990) 2, pp. 27-30]
In 1983 Svetlana Alpers published the book The Art of Describing. In this book the painting De Allegorie op de Schilderkunst (the Allegory on the Art of Painting) of Johannes Vermeer takes a central place. The painting shows the map of the XVII Provinces by Claes Jansz. Visscher. This article is a reaction to the vision of Alpers. In particular, the auther criticizes Alpers in her denial of a relationship between the painting and the political events in the Netherlands in the third quarter of the seventeenth century. It emphasizes the symbolic significance of the map that was painted. This is illustrated on the basis of several examples. The conclusion is that this painting was a very unfortunate cholce to function as a general example of the way the seventeenth century painters worked. (back)
The Map Collection of the Library of the State University Groningen
[Caert-Thresoor 9(1990) 3, pp. 37-41]
The library of the State University in Groningen was founded
in 1615, one year after the foundation of the University itself
Its site has remained the same for 375 years. In 1986 a new
building, partly built on the spot of the old library, was occupied, its entrance the main building of the University, the
Academiegebouw. In this new library ther is for the first time
a special readingroom to study maps and atlases (shared with
the manuscripts and rare books department), as well as better
storage and conservation possibilities in the adjacent vault.
The library posseses about 2000 mapsheets and 1600 atlases, among them about 40 dating from before 1800. The core of the mapcollection is formed by the maps from the Mello Backer collection, legated in 1900 to the library. This collection of Groningana comprises a fine collection of maps, mainly concerning of Groningen, among them several manuscript maps. The fine maps by Henricus Teysinga, a surveyor who worked in Groningen from 1730-1756 especially deserve to be mentioned.
Accompanying the maps which had been in the possession of G. Acker Stratingh, who supervised the preparation of the first geological map of a part of the Netherlands (i.e. Groningen), the basic material with the help of which this map was made, was donated to the library in 1925.
In the map collection the focus is on maps of Groningen and surrounding areas. Both general and national atlases are collected besides atlases concerning the Netherlands. The maproom has a special reference function for historical cartography through its facsimile collection and reference work on the history of cartography. (back)
René van Dijk
Gorinchem mapped by Jacob van Deventer and Pleter Sluyter
[Caert-Thresoor 9(1990) 3, pp. 42-44]
The map of Gorinchem by Jacob van Deventer must date from the period before 1558, because the Orphanage, which was founded on December 12, 1557, has not been reproduced. There are only some minor differences with a painting from 1568 and with bird's-eye view by Pieter Sluyter, made in 1553 on the order of the Count's Audit Office. Sluyter's piece of work has partly been copied in 1585 and used again in 1592. In that year three arbiters settled a dispute between the city and the above-mentioned Office. (back)
Jan R. Sterken
Restauration of the map with the title: 'Caart der limitten van de hooge en vrye heerlyckhydt van Het Loo'
[Caert-Thresoor 9(1990) 3, pp. 45-49]
The restored manuscript-map belongs to Queen Beatrix of the
Netherlands. It is located in the royal palace 'Het Oude Loo'
In 1748 the provincial surveyor of Gelderland, W. Leenen, recelved instructions to make a manuscript map of 'Het Loo'. In 1762 the first copy was offered to Prince William V. In 1763 a second copy was offered to the Court of Gelderland. In 1811 this second copy was transferred to Het Loo. A third copy, drawn by surveyor Frederick Beyerinck, is kept in the State Archives in The Hague.
The map now in Het Loo consists of 20 parts. Each part has been coloured and affixed on linen. The whole is provided with two wooden poles. Size is 276 x 243 cm. About 15 years ago the map was restored. Then it was affixed on a kind of linen. Because of the weight of this linen the map tore at the upper side.
The condition of the map was bad. The paper turned out to be brittle, cracked and acidified. There were several other problems as welt. For instance, during the first restauration a heavy paint was used to colour certain parts. Also several different types of gum were used in the process.
On the basis of consultation with the director of the State Museum Palace Het Loo, the map was split into six parts. The degree of acidification was measured. The lowest value found was pH 5.8. Deacidification was achieved by the Wei-To- method. This is a method using dry spraying.
Finally the map was backed with Japanese paper and fixed on cotton. In the article a protocol on the restauration and an outline of the materials used is provided. (back)
Jan Dirksz Zoutman and his colored maps for the Atlas Blaeu-van der Hem
[Caert-Thresoor 9(1990) 4, pp. 57-63]
As has been shown in a previous article (Caert-Thresoor 1990,
nr. l), the surveyor Jan Dirksz. Zoutman must have been a
rather wellknown illuminator of maps in his days. A manuscript
booklet on illumination, of which a short description was given,
could be ascribed to him.
A clear and little noticed indication of the appreciation of Zoutmans' art of drawing and decorative coloring can be found in the famous Atlas Blaeu-van der Hem, for which he made at least fifteen maps between 1664 and 1676. A list of these maps, mostly poldermaps, is given according to their legenda. Zoutman's style of coloring is remarkably sober, clear and fresh, with a sparse application of gold and silver. Apart from the cartouches, in which all colors used in the map return intensified, het worked in a very transparant manner with much use of the white of the paper or parchment.
Possibly, there are more Zoutman maps in Van der Hem's Atlas, especially in the (unsigned) volumes dealing with the VOC-regions, the authorship of which is as yet unknown. There is a similarity in coloring between these charts and Zoutmans poldercharts, noticed by F.C. Wieder as early as 1933. A solution to this question could be given by doing more comparative research on the style and materials of these charts and on Zoutman's way of writing, drawing and coloring. In assessing Zoutman's style, methods and materials, his notebook on illumination described earlier could be an important resource. (back)
H.A.M. van der Heijden
An unrecorded small atlas from Amsterdam, c. 1700 (?)
[Caert-Thresoor 9(1990) 4, pp. 63-66]
In Les Atlas Français (p. 263) Mireille Pastoureau mentions a smal] atlas by Jaillot entitled Receuil des Principales Cartes (...) she had never seen. Now this atlas has been discovered in the Bibliotheca Corsiniana in Rome (shelf mark 85.C.13). At the top right each map was found to show deletions, all relative to a work of Gallet-Huguetan in three volumes Nouvelle Géographie ou Description Exacte (...), Amsterdam, 1700, that has identical maps but for indicating at the top right volume and page number. Moreover, the greater part of the maps proved to have a watermark with the Amsterdam coat-of-arms. Since in Amsterdam in those days many atlases were published with a French title, a French address and the name of a French geographer, we may safely judge this atlas to be, instead of a French edition, a 'contre-façon hollandaise'. The printed years of publication in the two works reznain the only problem yet to be worked out. (back)
De Beaufort of Zeeland, Hattinga's connection to the Prince of Orange
[Caert-Thresoor 9(1990) 4, pp. 66-72]
Because of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) the cartographic work of Doctor Willem Tiberius Hattinga aroused the interest of both the Council of State and of Willern Karel Hendrik Friso, Prince of Orange and future Stadtholder of the Republic of the United Provinces. The Council of State's involvement from 1744 onwards is well known and documented, but why and on which occasion Hattinga, as early as 1744 or 1745, was introduced to the Prince of Orange, is not quite clear. It turned out that Pieter Benjamin de Beaufort (1688-1777), the prince's adviser in matters concerning his properties in the Provinces of Zeeland, was instrumental in this respect. The story is presented and the relevant correspondence is quoted. This reveals the prince's early military interest in Hattinga's secret map of Dutch Flanders and in his atlases in preparation. It is fairly certain that Doctor Hattinga's relation to the De Beaufort family contributed to this course of events. Through the influence of the prince, who was to become general commander of the Dutch land and naval forces in 1747, this course ultimately led to a breakthrough in Dutch topographic mapping around the middle of the 18th century. (back)