Old Maps Collection
Lopo Homem-Reineis Atlas
Homem, Lopo, fl. 1517-1565, cartographer
Reinel, Pedro, ca. 1464-ca. 1542, cartographer
Reinel, Jorge, ca. 1502-ca. 1572, cartographer
António de Holanda, 1480?-1556, illustrator
Santarém, Manuel Francisco de Barros e Sousa de Mesquita de Macedo Leitão e Carvalhosa, 1791-1856, 2nd viscount of, former owner
Miller, Emmanuel, 1812-1886, former owner
JPEG 2000, 14658 × 10606, 24MB
Scale not given.
Physical Map Dimension (cm):
41 x 60 cm, on sheet 52 x 69 cm
This map is from an Atlas known as Atlas Miller or Lopo Homem-Reineis Atlas. It was a joint work of cartographers Lopo Homem, Pedro Reinel and Jorge Reinel, and illustrated by Flemish miniaturist António de Holanda. It is considered one of the most beautiful Renaissance cartographic documents from Portugal. According to some authors the Atlas formed by 6 sheets is missing a 7th sheet which probably included a map of Africa. The five sheets with the maps were sold by Jacques Charavey -a Paris bookseller- to Portuguese viscount of Santarém that later sold them to Emmanuel Clement Miller, hence the name Miller Atlas. In 1897 Millers widow sold it to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The mapamundi sheet was later found in an auction in London in 1930 with the no. 91 in a catalog of Sotheby & Co. The buyer -Marcel Destombes- with the help of experts, concluded in 1939 that belonged to the Miller Atlas and in 1976 donated it to Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The title page bears a later inscription -probably after 1559- with the arms of Catherine de Medici, queen of France. It is thought to have been an offering from King Manuel I of Portugal to Francis I of France. However many authors agree that it had a political ground for it secretly denies the idea that the actual circumnavigation of the globe was possible and it was made to hinder Magellan’s voyage under the Spanish King. This is perhaps the most beautiful chart in the entire Atlas Miller, yet it is simultaneously the most fanciful. In Ptolemy’s Geography, the Magnus Sinus [i.e. the Great Gulf] is located beyond the Malacca Peninsula and stretches eastwards as far as the land mass that supposedly linked China to Southern Africa, thereby closing off the Indian Ocean. However, it is suggested that it was in fact a combination of the Gulf of Siam, the Gulf of Tonkin –which Portuguese charts and chronicles called the Cochin China inlet–, and the South China Sea. The gulf shown in this chart has no known southern border since the coasts on the two sides stretch to the equator, suggesting that they continue beyond that line.
Original is a manuscript vellum Atlas with 6 sheets with both recto and verso, 42 x 59 cm.
Title from provenance library.
There are four heraldic devices on the map with half moons as stylizations of Middle Eastern nations and six Portuguese flags. The faun representation on this map is as much fanciful as the depicted place, we can see a hippogriff and a dragon. 13 castles can be found identifying important places and two depictions of natives. The map has eight sail ships, seven of Islamic nations and one Portuguese with the cross of the Order of Christ on its sails.
Table of leagues on the right bottom part of the map inside a gold cartouche.
Relief shown pictorially.
Equator and Tropic of Cancer in red.
Place names in minuscule written in red and black.
Landmasses outlined in green with islands colored red, blue and gold.
The map is mainly in Latin but the place names are in Portuguese.
Map is outlined in simple fillet.
Cortesão, A. Portugaliae Monumenta Cartographica, vol. 1. p. 55-61
Foncin, M. Catalogue des cartes nautiques sur vélin conservées au Département des cartes et plans, 23
La Mappemonde Lopo Homem et L'atlas Miller, The Geographical Journal, vol. 94, no. 6, p. 485-492
Miró, M. Atlas Miller, p. -
龚缨晏. 《米勒之地图集》之谜, 地图, 02期
Marques, A.P. Os Descobrimentos e o 'Atlas Miller
Denucé, J. Les origines de la cartographie portugaise et les cartes des Reinel
[Sheet 4 reto]
[Atlas nautique du Monde, dit Atlas Miller]
Homem, Lopo, fl. 1517-1565
Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Provenance Call No.:
GE DD-683 (4 RES)