A New and Accurat Map of the World by George Humble – 1626, original engraving hand watercolored.
The necessity to represent general or detailed aspects of the terrestrial surface has plagued man since ancient times. Man has toiled in the search of more and more useful, practical and precise systems in order to geometrically portray the actual elements of the land together with their existing co-relationship on some type of medium, (for example, leather, wood, papyrus or paper). Scholars have thus given life to a vast bibliography concerning this subject. The same cannot be said for the actual cartographic technique which regards the concepts and methods of graphic representation on any type of paper medium.
For centuries the preparation of maps was the personal work of those who passionately dedicated themselves to the design, creation and production of maps using their own methods. In order to reproduce and print them they used machines and methods that were available at that time. And even when this individual work gave way to collective manufacturing, due to new cartographic needs and the need for faster and more precise tools for reproduction, the technique for producing maps continued belong to a privileged few who employed the talents of a handful of experts without worrying about divulging the methods and norms for obtaining the most valid results. This is why today we may evaluate both the technical and artistic differences of these experts resulting in an evaluation that, in relationship
with the given historical period, determines a type of classification of both merit and method.
During the 17th century, the English mapmaker, George Humble (1603?-1640), earned his place among the experts that contributed to a century of re-birth and mapmaking splendor. Even though there are not many wellknown works by this artist, we find that his “A New and Accurate Map of the World” is a most remarkable result of his efforts. This planisphere was produced at the turn of the 17th century and is characterized by its array of allegorical figures. Water, fire, air and earth are represented by subjects that create a pleasurable visual effect on the cartographic whole. The depiction of the eclipses of the Sun and Moon and the armillary sphere also render the work quite fascinating. It was published for the first time in 1626, and today we have brought it to life again using the same techniques, materials and instruments used that time. These include a manual press, finely engraved plates and 100% cotton paper. The map is mounted on cotton canvas and reflects the manufacturing procedure that was frequently used in the past thus ensuring a better
preservation of the map itself and making it easier to carry them. Only the aging process, for obvious reasons, is not a part of Piscator’s production, (carried out with all natural substances).
The watercoloring paint gives the subject a polychromatic image of indubitable visual effect. It is thanks to the use of these materials and techniques that this work is recreated enabling it to renew the beauty and historical-cultural value of the original.