Tijdschrift voor de Geschiedenis van de Kartografie
Journal for the history of cartography in the Netherlands

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Inhoud 38e jaargang (2019)
Contents of volume 38 (2019)

no. 1     no. 2      no. 3     no. 4

Caert-Thresoor 38e jaargang 2019, nr. 1


Anton Wegman
Ships and shipping in three maps of Amsterdam from 1544, 1597 and 1625

[Caert-Thresoor 38 (2019) 1, pp. 3-8]

Pictures of ships in printed maps were common from around 1500 until about 1750. My research as a fellow of the Amsterdam Maritime Museum concentrated on the question of how realistic were these depictions. Using all kinds of resourses, the outcome of the research made clear that these maps and the ships on them were very correct in the depiction of daily maritime activity in and around the town. I also discovered some new interesting facts not hitherto described. Three maps of Amsterdam in the Maritime Museum's collection show not only the development in map-making, but also the growth of the maritime industry of the town. On all three maps north is below. The oldest is from 1544 by Cornelis Anthonisz. in the crude technique of a woodcut. It shows the mediaeval town, with stone walls and unstructured anchoring on the IJ in the foreground. We also notice ship building and other maritime industries like rope-making outside the defensive town walls. The map that Pieter Bast etched in 1597 makes clear that Amsterdam was rapidly expanding. An up-to-date defence is realised with earth works and fortifications, which also incorporate the maritime industries. All inland ships have lee boards, which was a major improvement, and the level of organisation on the waterfront is much higher. New wharves are made on artificial islands to the east. Balthasar Florisz. van Berckenrode's large etched map from 1625 is a milestone in map-making. The level of detail is unmatched; his depiction of ships is very realistic. The busy shipping on the IJ is almost incomprehensible. New islands were made on the west side of the waterfront and they are under development. Ship wharves, store houses and water and trade-related industries can grow there. All three maps make clear that Amsterdam was a maritime city. Waterways reached deep into the city and ships, large and small, were everywhere. My research proves that these maps contain a lot of reliable information about the maritime history of Amsterdam during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. (back)

Jan Trachet
Marvelous marginality. A new analysis of the 16th-century landscape on Pieter Pourbus' painted map of the Liberty of Bruges

[Caert-Thresoor 38 (2019) 1, pp. 9-13]

During the Middle Ages the metropolis of Bruges thrived through its oversea trade. A large tidal inlet called Zwin provided a navigable passage from the North Sea, through the wetlands, to the city's heart. The Eighty Years War (1568-1648) transformed the Zwin area from an axis of trade into a front line of war. Of course, this had a profound impact on the environment. At the start of this sudden landscape transformation, painter-carto-grapher Pieter Pourbus portrayed the countryside of Bruges with a unique level of detail, accuracy and scale. Although this map is often used as an illustration, it has remained incomprehensibly understudied. In general, studies of historical maps have mainly focused on the iconography of city maps on the one hand, or on the geometric accuracy of relatively recent mapped landscapes on the other. Moreover, recent research has shown that the current landscape-historical narratives of this part of the North Sea area are severely outdated. In order to fill these gaps and study this unique landscape through this peculiar painting, we will merge newly developed digital techniques from art history and geography, and complement this with a renewed archaeological and historical survey of the region. By unlocking the map's details we will make an invisible landscape reappear, and unveil the historical, archaeological and environmental records of this remarkable manmade landscape. (back)

Martijn Storms
Secrecy with the VOC? The double interests from Blaeu and Van Keulen

[Caert-Thresoor 38 (2019) 1, pp. 14-25]

The Dutch East India Company (VOC) produced its own maps. In the course of its long existence (1602-1799) the VOC appointed official mapmakers to lead its map chamber in the East India House in Amsterdam. For two periods, the office of VOC mapmaker was in the hands of two well-known map publishing families: the Blaeus (1633-1705) and the Van Keulens (1743-1799). The VOC mapmakers had to swear secrecy, but it is open to question to what extent VOC cartography was considered confidential. How did the Blaeu and Van Keulen families reconcile the role of official VOC mapmakers with their activities as commercial publishers? Was there a conflict of interest between their commercial activities and their commitment to the VOC? Evidently, the commercial map printing practice of the Blaeus was limited by the restrictions imposed by the VOC. However, the office of VOC mapmaker was very lucrative and apparently outweighed the publicity restrictions. Contemporary Amsterdam publishers not bound to the VOC, such as Johannes Janssonius, were less constrained in printing maps of VOC territories and included more detailed charts of Asian waters in their atlases. The VOC policy only changed when the Van Keulens were in charge of VOC's Amsterdam map chamber. In the first half of the eighteenth century English and French pilot guides of Asian waters began to be published. At that point no navigational information remained to be kept secret any longer. (back)

Laatst bijgewerkt op 2019-04-14