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Begun around 1448 and completed some time before 1459, Fra Mauro’s World map, illustrated in the figure accompanying this article, is a beautiful object. Its designer, Fra Mauro, was at the Camaldulian monastery of San Michele on Murano, and worked on the map over a period of some years with the assistance of a workshop including fellow-monks and the Venetian galley captain and cartographer, Andrea Bianco. Around 4 m. square and mounted on boards that enable it to be hung on a...

The Genoese map is a 1457 world map. The map relied extensively on the account of the traveler to Asia Niccolo da Conti, rather than the usual source of Marco Polo. The author is not known, but is a more modern development than the Fra Mauro world map, with fairly good proportions given to each continents. The map also depicts a three-masted European ship in the Indian Ocean, something which had not occurred yet at the time

The Fra Mauro Map, the greatest memorial of medieval cartography, is a map made around 1450 by the Venetian monk Fra Mauro. It is a circular planisphere. The world map was made by Fra Mauro and Andrea Bianco, a sailor-cartographer, under a commission by King Alfonso of Portugal. This copy was completed on April 24, 1459 & sent to Portugal, but did not survive to the present day. The Fra Mauro map, inverted according to the modern North-South orientation. The map depicts Asia, Africa and…

Map of the World? It is claimed that this is an eighth century copy of the map Admiral Zheng He made in 1418. The map clearly shows the new world (right half) - more than 70 years before Columbus discovered it

The Mappamundi, the oldest original map in the AGSL holdings, was produced in 1452 by the Venetian cartographer Giovanni Leardo. The circular map, considered the finest example of a medieval wall map in the Western Hemisphere, shows the known world consisting of only Europe, Asia and Africa.

PTOLEMY, GEOGRAPHIA, Italy, c 1480 Atlas of the world from Western Europe and Africa to Indochina, containing 27 maps and 26 tables. Engraved world map from F. Berlinghieri, Geografia (Florence: Nicolaus Laurentii, c. 1480), hand colored with gold leaf border, nomenclature overtraced in color or gold (water damaged)

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Magnificent Maps: Cartography as Power, Propaganda, and Art

This is an 1804 copy of perhaps the first ‘modern’ world map, made by the Venetian monk Fra Mauro in about 1450. It points south because 15th-century compasses were south-pointing. It shows the Portuguese discoveries in Africa and questioned the authority of medieval and classical sources. Intended for display in Venice, it emphasizes the feats of Marco Polo. The British East India Company commissioned this copy, thus implying that Britain was heir to the Portuguese empire.