Nautical atlas from 1592 by Joan Oliva

Nautical Atlas of the Mediterranean, Joan Oliva, 1592

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Num. inventory: 3233

Object name: nautical atlas

Title: [Nautical Atlas of the Mediterranean]

Object date: 1592

Author: Joan Oliva

Technique and material: coloured drawing on parchment.


Nautical atlas made by Joan Oliva in Messina in 1592 on four sheets of parchment. The first is the cover, illustrated with the Annunciation and an oval mappa mundi. The second shows the Western Mediterranean and the Atlantic shores of Scotland down to Cape Bojador (Western Sahara). The third shows the central Mediterranean from Cabo de Gata to Cephalonia (Greece), and the fourth shows the Eastern Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

The atlas, which includes certain ornamental elements like walled cities, compass roses, divider callipers and a graphic scale, also has an inscription revealing the author: “Joan Oliva fecit in nobile urbe Messane, año 1592”.