Fra Mauro's Mappa Mundi and Fifteenth-Century Venice
Title: Fra Mauro's Mappa Mundi and Fifteenth-Century Venice
Author: CATTANEO, Angelo
Publisher: Brepols Publishers
Citation: Turnhout, Brepols Publishers, 2011, Terrarum Orbis, 8
Fra Mauro's mappamundi, drawn around 1450 in the monastery of San Michele on Murano in the lagoon of Venice, is among the most relevant compendia of knowledge of the Earth and the Cosmos of the fifteenth century. By examining literary, visual, textual and archival evidences, some long considered lost, this book places the map within the larger context of Venetian culture in the fifteenth century. It provides a detailed analysis of both its main sources (auctores veteres such as Pliny, Solinus, Ptolemy, and novi, like Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, Marco Polo and Niccolo de' Conti) as well as of the composite networks of contemporary knowledge (scholasticism, humanism, monastic culture, as well as more technical skills such as marine cartography and mercantile practices), investigating the way they combine in the epistemological unity of the imago mundi. More a work on intellectual history than cartography, the book constructs a complex set of frameworks within which to situate Fra Mauro's monumental effort. These range from the cultural history of the reception of the world map from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries to the analysis of the material conditions under which map-makers such as Fra Mauro worked; from the history of ideas, especially of natural philosophy to the links between world representations and travel literature. It also addresses the Venetian reception of Ptolemy's Geography, the interactions between Venetian art, theology and cosmography and the complexities of the Venetian vernacular. The books develops a multi-tiered approach, in which different elements of the rich cultural context in which this world map was created, interact with each other, each casting a new light on the encyclopaedic work being analyzed.
Table of Contents:
Foreword 5 Acknowledgements 15 Introduction 19 I: Encompassing the fifteenth-century world and re-creating the Imago Mundi 33 Chapter I: Fra Mauro's life and work: A critical survey of sources with emphasis on his Mappa Mundi and its reception to 1600 33 Chapter II: The cosmos of a mid-fifteenth century munk 75 Chapter III: Theology, cosmography, art: The earthly paradise in Fra Mauro's Mappa Mundi 131 Chapter IV: Readers and readings of Ptolemy's Geography in Venice in the mid-fifteenth century 159 Chapter V: Travel accounts and cartography: Fra Mauro, Marco Polo and Niccolò de' Conti 185 Chapter VI: The cultural matrices and narrative structure of Fra Mauro's Mappa Mundi 227 II: Patronage. Marketplaces. The history of cartography 279 Chapter I: At the origin of the map market in fifteenth-century Venice, Florence and Barcelona 279 Chapter II: The Confluence of politics and scholarship: The Mappa Mundi within the dawning of the history of cartography Epilogue Documentary appendices I: Chapters I-VI II: Chapters I-II Sources 397 Bibliography 406 Index codicum 435 Index nominum et operum 438
(Published version of EUI PhD thesis, 2005.) Translation into English from Italian.