The greatest and finest atlas ever published The finest and most comprehensive baroque atlas was Johann Blaeu''s exceptional Atlas Major, completed in 1662
The original 11-volume Latin edition, containing 593 maps, put Blaeu ahead of his staunch competitor, mapmaker Johannes Janssonius, whose rivalry inspired Blaeu to produce a grandiose edition of the largest and most complete atlas to date. Covering Arctica, Europe, Africa, Asia, and America, Blaeu''s Atlas Major was a remarkable achievement and remains to this day one of history''s finest examples of mapmaking. This reprint is made from the National Library of Vienna''s complete, colored, gold-heightened copy, thus assuring the best possible detail and quality. The book''s introduction, by the University of Utrecht''s Peter van der Krogt, discusses the historical and cultural context and significance of the atlas; Krogt also provides detailed descriptions of the maps, allowing modern readers to fully appreciate Blaeu''s masterwork.