Cartographica Neerlandica Background for Ortelius Map No. 233

image of the map

Title: SCENOGRAPHIA TO:|TIVS FABRICAE S. LAV:|RENTII IN ESCORIALI. [View of all that has been built here in Escorial (to commemmorate the martyr) Saint Laurentius].
(Lower left:) "A. Ortelius evulgabat. 1591". [Published by A. Ortelius, 1591].
(Bottom cartouche left and right of title placard:) AD PHILIPPVM II HISPANIA:|RVM ETC. REGEM CATHOLICVM. | "Michaelis vander Hagen, Antwerpii carmen". | (followed by 6 + 10 + 10 + 10 lines of laudatory poetry, addressed to the Spanish monarch Philip II:) "Cęsareas moles, atque alta palatia Regum | Ne posthac Latium, aut Gręcia iactet ouans; | Pyramides, et aquęductus, mira Amphiteatra, | Et Circos veteres Inclyta Roma premat; | Prisca fides sileat vasti Miracula Mundi; | Nam faciunt nostra ad secula, prisca nihil; | Vnus enim Hesperię Rex Maximus ille Philippus | Miracla exuperans omnia condit opus; | Non opus; at Molem. qualem neque tota vetustas | Vidit: et hęc ętas non habitura parem. | Nempe Duces olim parti monumenta triumphi | Victi erexerunt ambitione mala; | Atque trophęa Dijs posuerunt capta profanis, | Aut operis magni in secla perenne decus; | Relligionis Apostolicę verum vnicus ille | Defensor, voti Rex memor vsque pij, | Sancti operis dudum ęternos molitur honores; | Quo maius nihil hic Maximus Orbis habet. | Is Collegium enim Augustum, et Regale dicauit. | Laurenti, sacrum, tempus in omne, tibi; | Cuj certo numero pręsunt Hieronymiani: | O felix Ordo, o corda sacrata Deo. | Non est hīc aliud nisi Magni Sponsa Tonantis; | Maiestate Dei terribilisque locus; | Est vbi Maiestas, et Magnificentia Regis | Prodiga, inexhaustas et bene fundit opes. | Regia sic summi est ibi Principis, atque supremij | Numinis. ō qualis gloria? quale decus? | Quis gazas? quis splendorem fando explicet omnem? | Angustum ingenium est, linguaque nostra nimis. | Quis vero Regi par, atque secundus Ibero? | Miraclum Mundi solus et ille facit. | Macte animis; porro tua tanta potentia crescat; | O Heros populi Invicte Philippe tuj | Euge autem ō felix Hispania, et euge Madrida; | Quę nisi tam Magno haud Pręside tanta fores". [For Philip the Second, catholic ruler of both Spanish provinces [Spain and Portugal], etc. A laudatory poem by Michael van der Hagen of Antwerp. Let Latium or Greece no longer boast in jubilation about their imperial buildings and high royal palaces; let ancient Rome hide its pyramids and aquaducts, its marvellous amphitheatres and ancient circuses; let the ancient Christian belief be silent about the wonders of the whole wide world; for now in our days, they make what they did not make before, for there is one person in particular, the greatest ruler of the West, that famous Philip, who excels above all wonders, and who erected a building of colossal size. Something similar was never seen in antiquity, and in our time it will be without a peer. Of course, rulers also erected memorials in the past, in triumph because of a battle won in questionable ambition, and they dedicated spoils they won in victory to heathen deities, or to commemorate until eternity their martial deeds; but the unique defender of apostolical religion, the king, steadfast in his pious yearnings, now with this building finally achieves perpetual homage; in comparison with which this great globe has nothing more impressive to offer. For he dedicated this imperial and royal college to you, [martyr and saint] Laurentius, as a sanctuary for ever; and a number of Hieronymites will lead it. O blessed order, o hearts consacrated to God. Here is no one else but the bride of the Great Thunderer [the holy virgin Mary]. This is the abode of the grandeur of a fearsome God. This is the place where the greatness of our generous highness the king distributes his inexhaustible bounties. This is how the palace of the mightiest ruler and highest majesty came into being. O what glory? What honour? Who can fathom its riches? Whoever would be able to find words for its splendour? The creative mind and our language have their limitations. Who can match the king, and Spain? For he is the only one to build a wonder of the world. Honour him with all your heart, and may your great power continue to grow. O, invincible Philip, hero of your people, bravo! O blessed Spain, bravo. Madrid would not be of the stature it has now without such a leader].

Plate size: 369 x 477 mm.
Scale: not applicable.
Identification number: Ort 233 (Koeman/Meurer: 39P, not in Karrow, van der Krogt AN: P-Escorial:31).

Occurrence in Theatrum editions and page number:

1603LXL (300 copies printed) (text and page number, but not typesetting, identical with 1609/1612S/L; last line first text page, right aligned: Locus ; last line, second text page, centred: FINIS; one but last line, left aligned: cus debeatur.),
1606Exl (300 copies printed) (last line, first text page of two, full width: uers colours. To this are adioning certaine Chappels and closets where the Noblemen and Princes do sit to heare masse. This way | they),
1608/1612Ixl (300 copies printed) (last line first text page, right aligned: In quanto ; last line second text page, left aligned: ra , per la volta di Madrid, il Pardo, & Araniuez , due altri bellissimi palazzi son le dilitie loro & la casa del campo.),
1609/1612Sxl (text in Latin) = 1609/1612Lxl (600 copies printed) (text and pagenumber, but not typesetting, identical to 1603L; last line, first text page, right aligned: varie-; last line, second text page, centred: FINIS; one but last line, left aligned: ei locus debeatur.),
1624ParergonL/1641Sxlix (1025 copies printed) (last line second column first text page, right aligned: vesti- ; last line second text page second column, left aligned: primus ei locus debeatur. | NO.).

Approximate number of copies printed: 2525.

States: 233.1 as described.
233.2: between 1603 and 1606 numerous small ornamental changes were applied. The hatching on the dome mid top, which used to be from lower left to upper right has now been changed to upper left to lower right. The blocks of houses on the very left which used to have vertical hatching now have horizontal hatching. The entire background, which used to be rather faint, has been redone.
233.3: in the 1624Parergon Latin edition ESCORIALI has been changed into ESCVRIACO. The place names "Torre del Pardo" and "Fresneda" have been moved to mid top, C1. "Torre de Lodones" was added in C1.

Cartographic sources: a drawing made by Juan de Herreira (1530-1597), engraved by the Flemish artist Pierre Peret (1555-c. 1625) who lived in Spain and was a disciple of Gerard de Jode.

References: A. Hernando "The contribution of Ortelius' Theatrum to the Geographical Knowledge of Spain. p. 239-262 in Van den Broecke, van der Krogt & Meurer (eds.) "Abraham Ortelius and the First Atlas, 1998, HES Publishers.

Remarks: Surprisingly, this view, which is dated as made in 1591, does not appear in the Parergon sections of the 1592, 1595 & 1601 Latin editions, but appears for the first time as late as 1603.

The building of the Escorial, which was begun in 1563 and completed in 1584, commemorates Philips battle at St. Quentin in Northern France which took place on August 10, 1557, the name day of Saint Laurentius, to whom this building is dedicated. The laudatory poem below the view was written by Michael van der Hagen, a friend of Ortelius [see Hessels letter 375, Album Amicorum f. 20] who lived from 1531 to 1605. He was treasurer of the court of archdukes of Albert and Isabelle.
Ortelius expresses his regret that the seven wonders of the classical world no longer exist, and here presents the Escorial, the newly built seat of king Philip II as a modern counterpart. He relates at length its functions as a church, monastery, university and palace, and boasts that there is enough room to entertain and lodge four kings at once. It is no personal eye-witness account, since Ortelius never went to Spain. On which source Ortelius relied for this description is not known.
A close copy of this view was made by Braun and Hogenberg in 1617 with different text. The copperplate used for the present view has been preserved to the present day in the Plantin-Moretus museum in Antwerp.


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