[Portrait] Claudio Tolomeo
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Frontispiece of 'La Geografia di Claudio Tolomeo' translated by Ruscelli, and published in 1574. A portrait of Claudius Ptolemy set within a page of Italian text, dated due to the occurrence of MDLXXIII on the verso. Claudius Ptolemy (87-150) was an Egyptian astronomer and geographer living and studying in Alexandria. Alexandria was not only the home of the greatest library of any period, but also one of the most important trade centres between west and east, so that Ptolemy could not only study ancient authorities, but also consult contemporary travellers and merchants. It was Ptolemy who introduced the concept of latitude and longitude to form a grid to cover the whole world, so that it would be possible to plot the position of principal landmarks by observations. In this portrait, the standing Ptolemy is shown with a quadrant, one of the most important tools of his trade, looking towards the stars. With his right hand he points towards the earth at his feet, showing the importance of a knowledge of the stars and their position in order to plot the world around. An armillary sphere sits behind him. Wormhole repaired at upper left margin; slight water staining in left and lower margins. Nevertheless a fine image of this great figure.
region: Portraits and the Map Trade
mapmaker: G. Ziletti
place and date of publication: Venice 1561-1574
medium and colour: woodblock, Uncolouredref: 42280
size in mm: 110 by 110mm (4.25 by 4.25 inches).
Price: £ 300
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