What stands out most to me in this image is the remarkable level of attention lavished upon tiny details -- a typical feature of seventeenth century Iberian maps, but one that is often difficult to notice since these beautiful works are so often viewable only in pixelated digital form or as blurry black-and-white reproductions in printed works. Below are some details I've picked out from the larger image:
|Ortas - gardens - along the northeastern coast of Dutch-held Bahia.|
|Colorful pink tents that bear an odd resemblance to contemporary cartographic|
depictions of central Asian nomadic camps, but which are probably meant to
indicate the temporary shelters erected by Dutch-hired mercenaries.
The Camoes Institute website has a good (Portuguese-language) description of João Teixera and the larger Albernaz family of mapmakers here. For those interested in the Dutch conquest of Brazil and the Luso-Brazilian response, the best English-language works may still be those of Charles R. Boxer, a WWII era British naval spy turned historian of early modern maritime empires. Boxer's The Dutch in Brazil, 1624 to 1654 is the authoritative work on its subject, but is unfortunately out of print. His surveys The Portuguese Seaborne Empire and The Dutch Seaborne Empire are however widely available, and both are excellent. Finally, Boxer's The Tragic History of the Sea is a wonderful edited compilation of Portuguese narratives of naval battles and maritime expeditions. Tweet