The Four Seasons and Zodiac Signs

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The Nova Orbis Tabula In Lucem Edita or “A New World Map Disclosed in the Light” was published by Frederik de Wit in Amsterdam in 1680. This world map projects the two hemispheres, chartings of the North and South poles, and provides new geographical insight into the Western Hemisphere. De Wit’s map features more detail about the interior of the North and South American continents, such as the Great Lakes which are now depicted as more than one body of water and the shaping of South and Central America is modernized. The charting of the North and South poles provide insight into the geographical knowledge at the time, for instance Greenland and parts of Scandanavia, Canada, Western Europe are located within the Artic Circle. The Nova Orbis Tabula In Lucem Edita was popular for it geographical details and an attractive map for its cartes-à-figures.

The Nova Orbis Tabula in Lucem Edita is illustrated with the artistic representation common in classical antiquity. The cartes-à-figures depicted here are of the four seasons, the zodiac signs, and of the four winds. The four seasons illustrated below are drawn from the ideas and engravings of Jacob Matham works in 1589 and Hendrick Goltzius’s art from 1594. De Wit personifies the changing of the seasons through the cartes-à-figures illustrated actions and is alluded throughout with design and coloring techniques.


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