Albino de Canepa

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Odd and Interesting Maps | 2 comments

Canepa 21489 Portolan Chart, by Albino de Canepa, Cartographer

Not much is known about this map or its maker, but what I appreciate here are the very unique graphics. Click on the images to see them larger.

The snakelike forest at the top of Africa and the gypsy tents. The lakes that are linked and hanging like an earring.




Click map for a much larger view.

The fact that he depicted his hometown, Genoa, as being far larger than Venice out of hometown pride?


The boomerang shape is the Alps.

The James Ford Bell Library houses this map, and you can see lots of details on their site.

This map makes me want to be visually braver on my next map, out of the box and bold. It also makes me want to do tiny writing on some some ficttious shoreline.

Map book #2 is sent of to design. It will be out May 2014. Lots of mappy goodness.



  1. It may just be that Genoa is larger than Venice because he knows it in detail better. You tend to draw what you know.

  2. What a fascinating map. I love the inconsistent orientation and smiled at the idea that the cartographer might have been the first person to pick up a map and turn it in all directions.

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