Brabant: Leuven, Aarschot – Lovaniensis Tetrarchia una cum Arscotano Ducatu (..).; Nicolaes Visscher – 1698-1708

Nicolaes Visscher (1618-1679) / Nicolaes Visscher II (1649-1702).

Rare contemporary colored antique folio map of the Principality of Louvain and the Duchy of Aarschot. Covering the area from Mechelen to the West, Hulshout to the North, Liege to the East and Namur to the South.

Zeldzame oudtijds gekleurde antieke foliokaart van het Prinsdom Leuven en het Hertogdom Aarschot. Met het gebied van Mechelen naar het westen, Hulshout naar het noorden, Luik naar het oosten en Namen naar het zuiden.


1 in stock



  • Type: cartography
  • Title: Lovaniensis Tetrarchia una cum Arscotano Ducatu in eiusdem ditiones subiacentes / accuratissime divisa per Nic. Visscher Amst. Bat. cum Priv. Ord. Gen. Belg. Fed.
  • Publication: 1698-1708
  • Technique: copper engraving, contemporary colored
  • Carthographer: Nicolaes Visscher II
  • Atlas Contractus Orbis Terrarum and Atlas Minor, sive geographia compendiosa qua orbis terrarum (..) De stoel des Oorlogs in de wereld (..) by Nicolaes Visscher II and heirs in Amsterdam
  •   58.2 x 48.5 cm (22.9 x 19.1 inches)
  • 62.0 x 53.0 cm (24.4 x 20.9 inches)
  • Verso: blank
  • M170B
  • Source: Koeman III: Vis 30 [195]

Condition: A

Zeer goed, gegeven de leeftijd. Middenvouw als uitgegeven met originele marges. Scherpe afdruk met fraaie kleuring op fris en stevig papier. Split in bovenmarge, split onder net tot in beeld.

Very good, given the age. Center fold as issued with original margins. Sharp print with beautiful coloring on fresh and sturdy paper. Split in top margin, split in bottom just into the image.


The Visscher Family

For nearly a century, the members of the Visscher family were important art dealers and map publishers in  Amsterdam. At the turn of the seventeenth century, Amsterdam was a vibrant center for artistic production, global trade, scientific endeavors, mapmaking, and print publishing. At the center of this flourishing city, an aspiring young artist named Claes Jansz. Visscher (1587–1652) threw open the doors to his new print shop ‘The Fisher’ – located first on the city’s well-trafficked Kalverstraat and later on the equally popular Dam Square – in 1611. Graphic output under the Sign of the Fisher reached almost five thousand prints and while Visscher is best known for his excellence as a mapmaker, his innovations in the genre of landscape prints, and his publication of Dutch picture Bibles–his interests extended beyond this to include newsprints, ornamental prints, animal subjects, and more. It was by way of his successful and long-lived venture that Claes Jansz. Visscher – succeeded by his son Nicolaes (1618-1679), his grandson Nicolaus (1649-1702) and Nicolaus’s widow, Elisabeth Versijl, who directed the firm between 1702 and her death in 1726 – reigned as the head of one of the most important print publishing dynasties in the Dutch Republic. (leeflang, 2014)

Claes Jansz. Visscher (1587-1652)

Claes Jansz. Vischer bought a house in Amsterdam, ‘de gulden Bors’, on the important Kalverstraat and changed the name into “In de Visscher” and it was under this title that the shop was to flourish for many years. He was famous for his engravings and etchings of Dutch landscape and of ‘historical scenes’, such as sieges, battles, etc. These ‘historical scenes’ were considered as contemporary illustrated news items, especially, e.g., that of ‘the Eighty Years’ War’.
For the publication of his first atlas, he bought copperplates of the atlas Germania Inferior by Pieter van den Keere (1623).
In 1649, he published an atlas entitled Tabularum Geographicarum Contractarum, containing the same maps as Langenes’ Caert Thresoor, for which Visscher had only new title-pages engraved. Claes Jansz. Visscher died in 1652. His wife, Neeltjen Florisdr., had already died in 1640. They had seven children, four of whom were still alive at Claes Jansz.’s death. One of them was Nicolaes Visscher (I), who was to continue his father’s business.

Nicolaes Visscher (I) (1618-1679)

Nicolaes Visscher  (Nicolaum) entered into partnership with his father and continued the busines and stayed on the Kalverstraat ‘in de Visscher’ till his death. About 1657, the first edition appeared of his Atlas Contractus Orbis Terrarum. Until 1700, several editions of this composed atlas appeared. At first without, after 1677 with a printed index. Those atlases had no fixed contents, but were composed on demand. Not only ‘Visscher’ maps, but also maps of other publishers were obtainable. In May 1664, Nicolaes Visscher was admitted as a member of the Booksellers’ Guild of his town. In July 1677, he was granted a patent of the States of Holland and West-Friesland for the printing and publishing of maps and atlases for a period of 15 years. At about the same time, he also brought out an Atlas Minor sive totius Orbis Terrarum.

Nicolaes Visscher (II) (1649-1702)

Nicolaes Visser II (Nicolaus or Nicolai)  inherited the ‘shop’ from his father. To obtain a new privilegio he applied to the States of Holland and West-Friesland in 1682, for a patent for printing and publishing maps. This patent was granted to him the same year. He moved the firm to the Dam, but it kept the same sign-board: “In de Visscher”. Around 1683, he published his first Atlas Minor with a printed index of 91 maps. In 1684, an atlas Germania Inferior appeared. Till 1697 he published another number of atlases. He used his grandfather’s (Claes Jansz.) maps less often now and relied more and more on his own.

Visscher is well-known for the depth of accuracy within his maps, and for embellishing the maps’ beauty further with small detailing. This work is known for the high quality of engraving, exceptionally fine ornament, and accurate geographical information. His true innovation lies in his rendering of the New World, where he added small variations to the still widely unknown North American coastlines. About 1690 Visscher retouched the old plate of N.J. Visscher, by adding the city of Philadelphia and the name of the state Pennsylvania. Majority of the maps are published by Visscher with additional maps by several other mapmakers. The Atlas Minor is a fine and comprehensive composite atlas, and one of a series of large atlases compiled and sold by the Visscher family of art dealers and cartographers in the 17th century. There is a catalog from those years (27 pages!) that clarifies a lot about the type of material that the publisher offered. Only 10% consisted of maps, the rest related to prints. The Visschers saw their shop primarily as an art dealership, but there was also a large selection of maps available. The catalog also lists the large wall maps, few of which have survived.

After Nicolaes’ death some of the plates were sold to Gerard Valck and Pieter Schenk. But his wife, Elizabeth Verseyl, also published several composed atlases. She also published a combination of cartographic maps and maps of war in the Atlas Minor with substitle De Stoel des Oorlogs in de Wereld (The seat of war in the world). The shop enjoyed a high reputation owing to the great variety of the assortment. With the death of Elizabeth Verseyl, in 1726, the last descendant died of a great map- and atlas-publishing firm in Amsterdam.

De Visscher familie

Bijna een eeuw lang was de familie Visscher één van de belangrijkste kunsthandelaren en kaartuitgevers in Amsterdam. Aan het begin van de zeventiende eeuw was Amsterdam een ​​bruisend centrum voor artistieke productie, wereldhandel, wetenschappelijke inspanningen, cartografie en gedrukte publicaties. In het centrum van deze bloeiende stad opende een jonge aspirant-kunstenaar genaamd Claes Jansz. Visscher (1587–1652) de deuren van zijn nieuwe drukkerij ‘De Visser’ – eerst gelegen aan de drukbezochte Kalverstraat en later aan de evenzo populaire Dam – in 1611. Zijn werk omvat bijna vijfduizend prenten buiten zijn werk als kaartenmaker om. Door zijn succesvolle en langdurige onderneming werd Claes Jansz. Visscher – opgevolgd door zijn zoon Nicolaes (1618-1679), zijn kleinzoon Nicolaus (1649-1702) en Nicolaus’ weduwe, Elisabeth Versijl, die de firma tussen 1702 leidden en haar dood in 1726 – regeerde als het hoofd van een van de belangrijkste dynastieën van de gedrukte uitgeverij in de Nederlandse Republiek. (leeflang, 2014)