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Abraham Ortelius

In 1570,Theatrum Orbis Terrarum is released, an atlas of the globe by Abraham Ortelius, cartographer, printmaker and publisher, who obtains for his edition the cooperation of printmaker Frans Hogenberg. Even though Gerardus Mercator started from before to create “modern maps”, the first atlas published is the work of Abraham Ortelius. The first edition of the heatrum in 1570 was followed by 31 enriched reprints up to 1612. In total 228 plates are engraved and approximately 873,000 copies come out from the press. The plate is printed in black and white with the representation and the isolated words (intaglio printing), then the texts are printed on the same paper (relief printing) on the appropriate points, placed in a special chase, with lighter pressure, as well as the text at the back. Some maps are coloured with brush. The Theatrum orbis terrarum parergon; sive veteris geographiae, which is the continuation of the Theatrum, is an atlas of the ancient geography with classic and biblical subjects.


The Parergon is a historical atlas which contains maps relating to antiquity, part of Western Europe’s first major atlas,the Ortelius Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Several versions

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