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Terrarum Orbis (TO 13)
M. Milanesi
Vincenzo Coronelli Cosmographer (1650-1718)

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472 p., 44 colour ill., 210 x 270 mm, 2016
ISBN: 978-2-503-56461-6
Languages: English
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Retail price: EUR 125,00 excl. tax
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The Franciscan Vincenzo Coronelli (Venice, 1650-1718) was one of the most famous creators of globes and maps in the late seventeenth century. Neglected for much of the intervening period, his works are now highly prized on the antiquarian market. But scholars have lagged behind and studies on his cosmography remain, till now, partial, if not erroneous.

The present study offers a detailed investigation of contemporary documents and Coronelli’s own works. It throws new light on the man and his geographical and cosmographical interests, and puts this in the historical context. It also describes his astonishing career within the Church. His works are framed within the perspective of seventeenth-century knowledge of the representation of space, and places the scientific research of the period in its social milieu.

The book is divided into three parts. Each part is devoted to a particular aspect of Coronelli’s activities and sets them within the stages of his career. The first part focuses on the manufacture of two four-metre diameter globes for the Galerie des glaces at Versailles, subsequent production of these in smaller dimensions, and their marketing throughout Europe. The second part focuses on the workshop of the Frari, paying particular attention to Coronelli’s role as a salesperson of writings and drawings about the war against the Ottomans, and as an editor of maps and plans, geographical atlases, illustrated books, and finally an unsuccessful encyclopaedia. This section also examines how manufacture within this workshop was organized, its finance, and the economic relations with colleagues, competitors, and clients. The third part examines the ‘Cosmografo della Serenissima’ and describes its successes and failures, and the Accademia degli Argonauti and its links to princes and aristocrats, the Venetian republic, and the république des lettres.

An appendix is provided comprising transcripts of certain key documents discussed in the volume, and a list of maps that can be attributed to Coronelli.


Marica Milanesi Grendi, now retired, was Professor of History of Geography at the Università degli studi in Pavia. Her particular interests concern the representation of space in the period from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries, especially amongst the humanists and scholars in Venice and Florence.

"Beautifully edited, documented and illustrated, Marica Milanesi's historiography represents a turning point in our appreciation of Vincenzo Coronelli's life and work, hitherto based on some preconceived ideas about his more spectacular achievements. This colourful Venetian personality comes to life, with all his successes and failures, in the inspired portrayal of the social and intellectual environment that prevailed in Europe in his time." (Wulf Bodenstein, in: Maps in History, May 2017, No. 58, p. 7)

“This book is an absolute must for the reference shelves of every serious map library. It will also appeal to anyone interested in the history of globes and globe making or Father Vincenzo Coronelli specifically (...)" (Richard Pflederer, in The Portolan, 2017, p. 63)



Interest Classification:
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)

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