PH(I)L(IP)S GALLE excudit

FRONTISPIECE of the AMERICAE RETECTIO series. Antwerp, 1592

Almost a century later the discovery of America, the flemish painter Jan van der Straet, alias Giovanni Stradano (Bruges, 1523- Firenze, Gran Duchy of Tuscany, 1605) designed two series of engravings celebrating the adventurous travels that led to this epochal turning point: NOVA REPERTA is a collection of twenty engravings commissioned by the florentine nobleman Luigi Alamanni, and focused on the figure of Americo Vespucci, and on the human progress in knowledge of matter and visual arts.

The series AMERICAE RETECTIO, four engravings placed in the appendix, is entirely dedicated to the discovery of the new continent: protagonists the genoese Cristoforo Colombo, the florentine Amerigo Vespucci and the portuguese Ferdinando Magellano.

The complex allegory that we admire in the AMERICAE RETECTIO' s frontispiece has to be contextualized in the particular environment of Florence in the late XVI century, where Stradano worked, at the court of Gran Duke Cosimo I and then of Ferdinando de'Medici, in the circle of Giorgio Vasari, and in the Accademia degli Alterati of which the Alamanni was part and that it must have had a large influence on the creation of these images.

The mise-en-scène includes representation of gods and navigators as personifications of the New World, fantastical creatures and ancient gods: Stradano seems to suggest the fundamental role of Florence in the invention of the New World.

Burin engraving on laid parer. First state. Extremely rare. Excellent condition

Dim. 21,5x28,5 cm the engraved part

Americus Vespuccius Florentinus

Third engraving of the series.
Dim.: 22x28 cm the engraved part

Il verso prima del lavaggio e dopo