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Heinrich Bunting:  (Europe in the Shape of a Queen) Europa Prima Pars Terrae In Forma Virginis . . .

Maps of Europe

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Title: (Europe in the Shape of a Queen) Europa Prima Pars Terrae In Forma Virginis . . .

Map Maker: Heinrich Bunting

Place / Date: Hanover / 1581 (ca)

Coloring: Hand Colored

Size: 17 x 12 inches

Condition: VG

Price: $3,400.00

Inventory ID: 47895


Beautifully hand-colored example of Bunting's map of Europe. 

This striking version of the map appears to be a larger and more finely engraved edition than those which appear in the usual Hanover and Magdeberg editions, with additional placenames and the date 1548 in the lower left corner. This could reflect ackowledgement of the first appearance of the Munster edition of Europe as a Queen in his Cosmographia, although we have yet to find an explanation of the annotation (C.P. 1548).  There is also no text on the verso.

Protestant theologian Heinrich Bunting's map showing Europe as a queen is one of the most sought after anthropomorphic maps of the 16th Century. The depiction of Europe as a queen began in the 14th Century. Europe was named for princess Europa (Daughter of Phoenicia), who had been carried off and raped by Zeus.  The earliest depiction of Europe as a woman is believed to be by the 14th Century Pavian Cleric Opicinus de Canistris for the papal court, then at Avignon. The woman represents the Mother Church, who is being seduced from the true path. 

In 1537 the Tirolese cartographer Johann Putsch celebrated the Hapsburg rule over Europe by presenting a placid "Europa Regina" wearing Charles V's Spain as a crown and Ferdinand's Austria as a medal at her waist, representing the triumph of the Hapsburgs. The queen's crown (Spain), orb (Sicily), and heart (Bohemia), form a triangle that directs the viewer's eye away from eastern Europe toward the West. The British Isles are a shapeless blob perched near her shoulder. Her skirt is composed of the Baltics and Greece; Turkey and Russia are beneath her feet. Later editions of Europe as a queen were issued by Sebastian Münster, Heinrich Bunting, and Matthias Quad. 

Condition Description: Minor loss at lower right corner, expertly reinstated, just affecting the lower corner neatline.

Related Categories:
Maps of Europe
Maps of Europe