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The Kraus Map Collection


Kraus 25.2, America (1597)

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Title   America
Cartographer   Rughesi, Fausto
Subject   America--Maps--Early works to 1800
Publisher   Rughesi, Fausto
Repository   Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Place of publication
     or creation
Date(s)   1597
Format   Printed map
Kraus catalog no.   25.2
Dimensions in mm.   530 x 695 mm.
Rights   No known U.S. copyright restrictions. Please cite the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, as the image source.


An engraved map, consisting of two joined sheets; with watermark of a kneeling figure with a halo, holding a cross (similar to Briquet 7628). From the Hauslab-Liechtenstein Collection.

Fausto Rughesi, a native of Montepulicano, is best known as Roman architect, his major work being the fa├žade of the Chiesa Nuova (Santa Maria in Vallicella), of 1605. His cartographic activity seems to be limited to five maps which he did in 1597 for Vicenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua (1587-1612).

The three maps present here (25.1-3) bear Rughesi's dedication to Gonzaga in a cartouche at the upper left, and the Gonzaga arms on the upper right. Their cartographic excellence is matched by the highly artistic execution, featuring beautiful Renaissance cartouches with title and text and sea monsters, ships, etc. enlivening the oceans.

While no definite direct source to these maps can be established, it is evident that Rughesi used the most up-to-date information then available in the maps by Ortelius, Gastaldi, De Jode, etc., as well as in Portuguese portolans.

Rughesi's maps are unknown to most bibliographers because of their excessive rarity. Only one set of the maps has survived which is now in the Vatican Library. The Vatican copies, however, are badly damaged, whereas the present maps are, with the exception of some very minor and insignificant repairs, in excellent condition.

Almagia, Monumenta Cartograpbica Vaticana, II, pp. 69-71, plates 21-23.
See Fiorini. II Mappamondo di Fausto Rughesi (Extr. from Boll. Soc. Geog. Icaliana, Nov. 1891).
None of the maps in Nordenskioeld, Facs. Atlas; the Asia map not in Teleki, Atlas zur . . . Kartogr. der Japan, lnseln.