Maps and Geography
Did you know?
Scala Archives photographed the Galleria delle Carte Geografiche in the Vatican Palace, which takes its name from the 40 geographic murals representing the regions of Italy and islands of the Mediterranean that adorn its walls. Commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII, the corridor was built and decorated between 1580–1583 under the supervision of Ignazio Danti (1536–1586), a Dominican friar, mathematician, and cartographer. The map frescoes are monumental in scale (approximately 3 x 4 m) and exceedingly rich in detail — each map includes a scale, wind rose, coordinates, and cartouches that describe each territory and its history. There are also plans of major cities in each region, painted as trompe l’oeil maps on top of the main mural, as well as historical vignettes painted directly into the topography. Given the size of the murals, the maps are not easily examined by visitors in situ, but scholars and students may closely study the Scala images with Artstor’s zooming feature.
View the entire list of collections at artstor.org/collections.