GASTALDI, Giacomo (c.1500-c.1565). Opera nella quale è descritto la regione dil Piamonte. Venice: Gabriel Giolito, 1556.
Engraved map of Piedmont on a full Royal sheet, overall 413 x 550mm (engraving 385 x 508mm). Title, date and scalebar in cartouche on the left, imprint in cartouche at lower left, compass rose, the whole within a graticule border. (Spotting, old vertical fold.)
An important and rare map of Piedmont engraved by Fabio Licinio after Gastaldi's four-sheet woodcut map of Piedmont published the previous year in Venice by Mathio Paga, a publisher apparently unknown to Tooley. The fame that Gastaldi's archetype later acquired was in large part due to the success of Licinio's engraving after Gastaldi's work. Licinio's map achieved a degree of accuracy in both the orography and the depiction of the coastline that was without precedent and would remain unequalled during the 16th century. The map is also celebrated for its hydrographic detail, and the inclusion of many smaller towns which are often lacking in other maps. It extends as far as Savoy, and includes Milan, Genoa, and Monaco. Maps produced after Gastaldi's work often refer to him as 'that excellent cosmographer', and he is justly considered one of the greatest 16th-century cartographers. In August 1553 Gastaldi was commissioned to produce a second wall map for the Doge's Palace in Venice, the first having been commissioned in 1550. Together they gave the room in which they were painted its name: 'Sala delle Mappe', or sometimes 'Sala delle due Mappe'. These wall maps were followed by maps of Asia intended for Giovanni Battista Ramusi's Navigationi et Viaggi, and then Gastaldi's major woodcut of Piedmont, produced when he was at the height of his power. Licinio was a Venetian engraver and publisher who is principally known for his work for Gastaldi. The lower and smaller of the two cartouches records Giolito's holding of privileges from both pope Paul IIII and the Venetian Senate. Karrow 30/76.1, listing three other copies only, not including that in the Biblioteca Nazionale di S. Marco (39); watermark similar to Woodward 105.