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Portugalliae quæ olim Lusitania, novissima & exactissima descriptio, Auctore Vernando Alvaro Secco
Named collection: Allan Forbes Collection
Object type: engraving
Maker: Ortelius, Abraham; Secco, Fernando Alvaro
Place made: Belgium, Flanders, Antwerp
Date made: 1608-1612
Materials: ink; color; paper
Measurements: 19 1/4 in x 23 in
Hand-colored copperplate engraving of "a very new and exact description of Portugal, once known as Lusitania, by Fernando Alvaro Secco." Atlas sheet from the 1608/1612 Italian edition of Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. The sea area is decorated with two ships and a sea creature that is a man's head. The title and a text panel are placed in strapwork cartouches. The text panel is a quotation, dated 1560, celebrating the seafaring achievements of the Portuguese - "from here men have set out with incredible valour and success. They have visited all parts of the world. They have brought a large part of Africa under our rule and took possession of countless islands, known only by name or nameless until they first set foot upon them. They have made the most beautifal lands of Asia pay tributeand brought the knowledge of Jesus Christ to the most distant nations, to teach them true religion." Text on verso (19r); last line, left aligned and in cursive script is transcribed: "in sin alla China, & à Lequij,per tutte le prouincie maritime & isole circonstanti si distende." Reference: Van den Broecke, Marcel. Ortelius Atlas Maps: An Illustrated Guide. 2nd ed. Houten: Hes & de Graaf, 2011.