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Tabula Russiae ex mandato Foedor Borissowits delineata: Visscher 1651

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  • Title: Tabula Russiae ex mandato Foedor Borissowits delineata
  • Author: Claes Janszoon Visscher
  • Date: 1651
  • Medium: Hand-colored copperplate engraving
  • Condition: Excellent - tissue-backed, repaired separation in bottom center fold, repaired 1/2 inch crack in center righthand margin, repaired 1/2 inch tear in lower righthand margin, margin in lower right corner reinstated, miniscule wormholes (repaired) in bottom margins, early color. All repairs expertly done.
  • Inches: 22 x 18 1/4 [Paper]
  • Centimeters: 55.88 x 20.96 [Paper]
  • Product ID: 311005

This hand-colored copperplate engraving depicting Russia and surrounding regions was published by Dutch cartographer Claes Janszoon Visscher (1587-1652) in 1651. The top left features an inset plan of Moscow labeling major features and buildings of the city, while the right-hand side includes insets depicting views of the port of Archangel on the Arctic Sea, the Kremlin, and other Russian cities. Above the cartouche in the lower left corner, Visscher includes a group of figures dressed in ‘Habitus Russorum,’ or customary Russian clothing. The map extends from Denmark at its westernmost point towards Persia and the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea. Visscher based the map on one created by Fyodor II Borisovich Godunov (1589-1605), grandson of Ivan the Terrible who became Tsar of Russia at the age of sixteen during the Time of Troubles, a period of immense civil strife in Russia which lasted from 1598-1613. Fyodor reigned from April 1605 until he and his mother were murdered in June of that year. Highly-educated, he was a precocious child, remarkably producing a map of Russia that was published posthumously in Amsterdam in 1613.

Visscher was also known as Nicolas Joannes Piscator, the name under which he is credited on this map. He learned the printing trade from his father, also a publisher, and following his death his son Nicolaes I and subsequently his grandson Nicolaes II took over the family business.