[OLIVA, Joan] (fl. 1570-1614), Portolan chart of the South Atlantic, Brazil and West Africa. [Marseille: c. 1600].
Illuminated manuscript portolan chart on vellum, heightened in gold, 525 x 700mm. The chart extending from Namibia to Senegal, from the Rio de la Plata to Venezuela. The coastlines in blue and maroon, rivers in blue, prolific coastal place names in red and black, banner bearing Africa, various animals including an elephant, pig, camel and unicorn, the port of Mina [in Nigeria] marked with a fortified tower, the lands decorated with mountain symbols, two scale bars at upper left and lower right margins, twelve elaborate windroses encircling the centre point of the chart, the seas decorated with two sailing vessels and two sea monsters, the latitudinal graticule split to each side of the equator, with gold border.
A very fine portolan chart of the South Atlantic. The chart shows the Brazilian coast in maroon (Portugese territory) and the other South American coasts in blue (areas under Spanish control), a curious feature as Portugal and Spain joined together in 1580. Curiously a comparison with Diego Homens' map of the South Atlantic of 1558 shows similarities of construction, positioning of sea monsters and ships. The stylised treatment of the Rio de la Plata closely resembles the form used by Juan Martines, who was Cosmographer to Philip II of Spain.