Rare and finely engraved map of the Duchy of Savoy, published in Venice by the important Lafreri School mapmaker Paolo Forlani, and Ferrando Bertelli.
The present example is signed by an early owner and includes some extra illustration in the same pen.
The map was long believed to be the earliest modern map of the Duchy of Savoy, until the discovery (in 1903) of a 2 sheet map by Gilles Boileau de Bouillon ( Nova et exactissima Sabaudie Ducat Descriptio), published in 1556, which was copied by Forlani.
The Ventian mapmaker Paolo Forlani is one of the best known and most prolific of the Venetian mapmakers of the period . Forlani and Ferrando Bertelli were two of the most important of a group of 16th Italian mapmakers often referred to as "Lafreri School," named for the Roman mapmaker and publisher Antoni Lafreri, who assembled composite atlases of maps published by himself and other Italian mapmakers and added his title page to some examples.
Typically, when these atlases were created, the publisher cut the maps down to the engraved plate lines and then mounted blank paper on all four sides, in order to create a uniform paper size for binding.
Lafreri School maps are generally the earliest obtainable modern maps of various regions of the world. While most maps were separately issued, some were bound in composite atlases, which increased the prospects of their survival until modern times.
The present example is the second state of 4, with Bertelli's name added below the scale of miles.
Paolo Forlani (fl. ca. 1560-1571) was a prolific map engraver based in Venice. All that is known of his life are his surviving maps and prints, of which there are almost 100 (185 with later states included in the total). He also produced a globe and two town books. It is likely he came from Verona and that he died in Venice in the mid-1570s, possibly of the plague.