In her poem The Map Elizabeth Bishop said ” More delicate than the historians’ are the map-makers colors. ”
The Curious Map Book contains many cartographic gems from the British Library.
Some are delicate and some are indelicate.
The Rose of Bohemia, (now the western part of the Czech Republic) was drawn by Christoph Vetter and engraved in 1668 by Wolfgang Kilian. Prague is the center of the rose.
This allegorical map of the Baltic Sea as Charon was created by Olof Rudbeck Jr. of Uppsala in 1701.
Geography Bewitched! is a series of maps made by Robert Dighton, London in 1793.
This character seems to be suffering from loch jaw.
John Bull is bombarding the Bum-boats in this map of England and France by James Gillray of London in 1793.
Dame Venodotia – a map of North Wales is from 1851. Her torso is Gwynedd (the name of the town in Pennsylvania where I grew up.)
Peer closely at this image to see hidden animals and people.
This map, made in 1854 by Thomas Onwhyn shows the four main protagonists of the Crimean War as animals.
Eliza Jane Lancaster (also known by her stage name Lilian Lancaster) created this map of Spain and Portugal in 1868.
In recent times the tradition of allegorical and animate maps has been carried on wonderfully by Peter Sis. Here are some of his drawings.
And the last word on maps goes to Saul Steinberg in this conversation from 1963.
Alice Provensen died yesterday at age 99. You can read her obituary here. Her work is beautiful, smart, real, soul stirring and delightful. Thank you Alice Provensen.