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View of Batticaloa, Ceylon


View of Batticaloa, Ceylon

Vingboons, Johannes

Title on object: Battacalo op’t Eylant Ceilon

The coastline at Batticaloa, on Ceylon’s east coast, is depicted here. Batticaloa was the first settlement the VOC conquered from the Portuguese on Ceylon, in 1638. The Portuguese fort there was then transferred to the King of Kandy (ruler of Ceylon) and torn down, but in 1665, a VOC fort was erected on the same location. In this watercolour, the word ‘fort’ is written near the settlement.

Other copy: Nationaal Archief VELH619.24 (where the fort is also depicted but with a much different shape.)

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)