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15 x 17 ¼ inches, Fine hand color; excellent condition.
Arguably the finest engraved portrait of early mapmakers in a richly colored example. Created by the widow of Jodocus Hondius as a tribute to her late husband who died in 1612. It appeared as the frontispiece in editions of the Mercator-Hondius atlas beginning in 1613. In the well-executed design, the more ascetic and scholarly Mercator and the ruddy merchant prince Hondius are seated within an architectural cartouche of the kind frequently seen on the maps that both produced. They are depicted using, and surrounded by, the accoutrements of mapmaking and with a wall map of Europe in the background.
Mercator and Hondius are clearly portrayed here as equals. While Mercator’s standing as a great geographer has been long unquestioned, recent findings are bearing out Hondius’ important intellectual achievements along with his well-recognized engraving skill and prolific publishing.