description description

View of El Mina


View of El Mina

Vingboons, Johannes

Title on object: Aldus verthoont ’t casteel de Mina vanden Berch St. Jago

The watercolour shows fort El Mina and the adjacent settlement. Elmina was originally a Portuguese fort giving access to the gold trade in the region, but was conquered by the WIC in 1637, and made the WIC’s headquarters on the Gold Coast. After the Dutch started setting up sugar plantations on South America and the Caribbean, the slave trade from El Mina and other places along the African Coast became ever more significant.

Other copies: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Van der Hem 36:18; Vaticans Libary Reg. Lat. 2107, fol. 41r; British Library Add. MS 33976, L.

Part of the Carte di Castello, collected by Cosimo de Medici III in 1667 and 1669 during his tours through Europe. Cosimo III bought the 66 watercolours by Vingboons in December 1667 in Amsterdam, through mediation of Pieter Blaeu.

Please contact Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana for reuse and copyrights.

Sources and literature

Corbellini, Sabrina and Cattaneo, Angelo, The Global Eye: Dutch Spanish and Portugese maps in the collections of the Grand Duke Cosimo III de' Medici (2019)