By: Matthias Seutter
Date: 1750 (Published) Augsburg
Dimensions: 19.1 x 22.5 inches (48.5 cm x 57.2 cm)
This magnificent decorative map by Matthias Seutter features Sicily and Sardinia as focal points but also includes Malta and parts of Corsica, along with many smaller islands in the region. In addition, a significant portion of Italy and a bit of Tunisia are depicted. Sicily has been inhabited for millennia. A strategic crossroads of the western world, the island has hosted myriad civilizations, leaving it with an unparalleled historical legacy. Nowhere else have Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines Arabs, Normans, French, Germans, Spanish, Italians and even British left such an indelible impression.
The map is highly detailed, with all topographical information delineated to the extent that the map could be used today. Mount Aetna, the most active volcano in Europe, is shown erupting on the island itself and in an enlarged depiction in the lower right quadrant. Study of the map reveals myriad villages and major urban areas in close proximity to the volcano, testimony to the courage and determination of their inhabitants to not be driven from the region. In the lower left quadrant is an inset entitled ‘Faro di Messina’, which depicts the harbor and the areas directly adjacent to it. The harbor city of Messina has been important from time immemorial, and more than once been devastated by earthquake. The resilient populace always rebuild, and thus a modern city stands today on foundations built by countless earlier peoples.
The map is dominated by a huge allegorical title cartouche representing the importance of the region in Mediterranean trade and military authority. The remarkable cartouche includes such figures as Mars, Neptune, Mercury, and the female personifications of Renown and Abundance.
Condition: Dark impression with original color. Slight centerfold darkening and centerfold separation repaired with archival material on the verso.
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