Joan Blaeu

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Joan Blaeu was the son of the renowned cartographer Willem Janszoon Blaeu. He began his professional career as a lawyer, however quickly joined his father’s workshop. When his father died in 1638, Joan Blaeu took over the firm with his brother, Cornelius Blaeu. Joan Blaeu was appointed as the official cartographer of the Dutch East India Company. He was well-informed on the latest cosmographical innovations and his 1648 hemispheric world map reflects the impact of Nicolaus Copernicusheliocentric theory. Typical of early modern maps, California is presented as an island, disconnected from North America. In 1662, Joan published his greatest work, the Atlas Maior, an expanded version of his father’s Atlas Novus (1635) containing over six hundred maps.

An oil painting of a man in black robes with a square, white colour leaning on a wooden desk.