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Mitchell King Atlas, 1662-1695

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04. Africae Accurata Tabula
04. Africae Accurata Tabula The map by Gerritt Van Schagen (1642-1690) captures the European misconceptions of Africa typical of the late seventeenth century. The Nile appears to be rising from the three lakes of Zaire, Zembre and Zafflan. The prime meridian, the zero-degree longitude line, is plotted through the Canary Islands which to the ancients was the western edge of the inhabited world. The interior is decorated with monkeys, elephants, lions, rhinoceroses, leopard and ostriches. The sea is decorated with ships, whales and flying fish. The title cartouche in the upper left right is surrounded by two Africans, one holding a scorpion and the other a cornucopia with sea sprites at their feet. The elaborate decoration at the lower left is Neptune surrounded by his wife, Amphitrite, and their sons, the Tritons, along with Nereids, the sea nymphs. 52 x 62cm.