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Cabinet of Curiosities

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Full-Text Articles in Dutch Studies

Willem Blaeu's 'Asia Noviter Delineata': Expressions Of Power Through Naval Might And Natural Knowledge In Dutch Mapmaking, Joshua W. Poorman Oct 2012

Willem Blaeu's 'Asia Noviter Delineata': Expressions Of Power Through Naval Might And Natural Knowledge In Dutch Mapmaking, Joshua W. Poorman

Student Publications

This paper situates Dutch mapmaker Willem Blaeu’s Asia noviter delineata—part of the Stuckenberg Map Collection in the Gettysburg College Special Collections—within the larger framework of Renaissance thought and a shifting colonial balance of power. The map’s pictorial marginalia expresses a Dutch quest for empirical knowledge that echoed contemporary cabinets of curiosities throughout early modern Europe. Similar to these cabinets, Blaeu’s map can be seen as a cartographic teatro mundi, used to propagate Dutch hegemony through both a robust naval presence and an expanding geographic and natural knowledge of the world.