Maps and Geography

This page highlights Artstor content related to the study of maps and geography, which include depictions of the physical terrain of geographic regions from a variety of historical periods.

View our Curated Image Group Maps and Geography, featuring 100 images selected by an expert to serve as an introduction to the topic.

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Browse by Classification for Maps, Charts and Graphs and then narrow by country name

Browse the Classification for Architecture and City Planning and then conduct a keyword search for map or plan within the results to find city maps or site plans

Keyword search terms such as map, plan, or chart

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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. 

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