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Map of the island of São Tomé


Map of the island of São Tomé

Vingboons, Johannes

São Tomé, in the Atlantic just off the African coast, became a Portuguese colony producing sugar by means of slave labour as early as the late 15th century. In 1641 the WIC, which had also been conquering Portuguese territory in Brazil, managed to conquer in an expedition launched from Brazil. The island was retaken by the Portuguese in 1648.

Other copies: Nationaal Archief: VEL0619.102; Österreichische Nationalbibliothek: Van der Hem 36:24.; Vatican Library Reg. Lat. 2107, fol. 45r. (The latter is available through the online collection of the Vatican itself.)

This copy differs from the other known copies in that it has two coastal profiles of the island worked into the map itself.

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)