Projects of the Yale University Map Department at Sterling Memorial Library

Bordone, Benedetto, 1450-1530

Bordone was born in Padua, Italy around 1460. He was definitely in Venice by 1494, when he was granted a priveledge to publish his Italian translation of the Dialouges of Lucian. He was an astrologer, miniaturist, illuminator, cartographer and engraver from Padua, but worked and died in Venice on April 10, 1539. He is best known for an island book (a genre that was en vogue in Italy at the time) entitled Libro de Benedetto Bordone, nel qual si ragiona de tutte L’isole del mondo.. It was published in Venice in 1528 and contained 111 woodcut maps.

The Yale Map Department has 1 map in it’s collection by Bordone from this book depicting Japan (Java and neigboring islands on the verso). This genre of island books was firmly established after the sucessful publication of Bordone’s book. It became known as an Italian, and more specifically, a Venetian specialty. Porchacchi’s [hyperlink] island book L’Isole piu famose del Mondo followed in 1572 and Coronelli’s [hyperlink] Isolario in 1697 was an atlas in the form of an island book.


Click Image
to Launch Zoomify Viewer


French, Josephine. Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers, Revised Edition A-D, Map Collector Publications Limited, England, 1999, p.166.

Karrow, Robert W., Mapmakers of the Sixteenth Century and Their Maps, Chicago, 1993, p.89-93.