GASTALDI, Giacomo (c.1500-c.1565). Geographia Moderna de tutta la Italia. Rome: Claudio Duchetti, 1582.
Engraved map of the Italian peninsula on a full Royal sheet, overall 397 x 538mm (engraving 392 x 504mm). Title in decorative cartouche with scale bar, two compass roses, graticule border. (Upper and lower edges trimmed to plate mark and neatly remargined top and bottom.)
FIRST EDITION of Duchetti's map derived from Giacomo Gastaldi's 1548 edition of Ptolemy's Geographia. This map shows the whole of Italy and Corsica, the northern most parts of Sardinia and Sicily, and the coast of Istria, Dalmatia and Albania. Giacomo Gastaldi was, and styled himself, 'Piemontese', and this epithet appears often after his name. Born at the end of the fifteenth or the beginning of the sixteenth century, he does not appear in any records until 1539, when the Venetian Senate granted him a privilege for the printing of a perpetual calendar. His first dated map appeared in 1544, by which time he had become an accomplished engineer and cartographer. Karrow has argued that Gastaldi's early contact with the celebrated geographical editor, Giovanni Battista Ramusio, and his involvement with the latter's work, Navigationi et Viaggi, prompted him to take to cartography as a full-time occupation. In any case Gastaldi was helped by Ramusio's connections with the Senate, to which he was secretary, and the favourable attitude towards geography and geographers in Venice at the time. Gastaldi spent two years putting together the maps for Pietro Andrea Mattioli's new Italian translation of Ptolemy's geography. Although the colophon is dated 1547, Gastaldi's preface is dated 1548, and apart from the twenty-six Ptolomaic maps Gastaldi included thirty-four modern maps. These latter were very influential, being entirely new works, engraved on copper. Tooley 338, records one copy in the Beans collection; the British Library map room has a later impression of this plate, printed by Epiphanus de Alfani in Florence in 1597, and there was a further reissue in 1607; watermark Woodward 318.