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CORONELLI, Vincenzo. Repubblica di Venezia p. IV. Citta, Fortezze, ed altri Luoghi principali dell' Albania, Epiro e Livadia, e particolarmente i posseduti da Veneti descritti e delineati dal p. Coronelli, Venice, 1688.

Vincenzo Maria Coronelli (1650-1718) was an Italian Franciscan friar, chartographer, cosmographer and encyclopedist. He was born and died in Venice. Son of a Venetian tailor, he moved to Ravenna while still an adolescent to learn the art of wood engraving. At the age of sixteen he published the first of the hundred and forty works he was to produce during his lifetime. Coronelli studied in Rome, where he became Doctor in Theology. He also studied astronomy, Eucleidian geometry and ancient philosophy. He became most famous for his terrestrial globes. In 1678, he made two such spheres of excellent technique, of 175 cm in diameter, for the Duke of Parma. In 1681, the French ambassador in Rome ordered Coronelli two similar globes intended as a gift to king Louis XIV. Coronelli then moved to Paris for two years. He constructed two globes, of a diameter of 382 cm and weighing two tons each. One represents the earth, based on the geographical knowledge of the time, and the other is a celestial sphere, with the sky as it appeared on the day Louis XIV was born, coloured and illuminated, with the constellations in form of imaginary animals. Today these spheres are exhibitied in the François Mitterrand National Library of France.

After his stay in Paris, Coronelli lived and worked in various European countries. In 1705 he settled permanently in Venice, where he founded the first geographic society: the “Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti”. Until 1707 he directed a numerous workshop of chartographers and was in charge of quality publications, crucial to the evolution of chartography. Coronelli was named cosmographer of the Republic of Venice, and was in charge of depicting the victorious battles fought by his country during the Venetian-Ottoman War of 1684-87. These drawings have ever since accompanied a multitude of reprints and translations of his works into English, French, Flemish, German etc. They have also illustrated subsequent travel chronicles, historical studies and geographic works. Coronelli died aged 68, after he had published hundreds of maps, as well as the six first volumes of “Biblioteca Universale Sacro-Profana”, considered to be the first encyclopedia whose entries are arranged in alphabetical order. Many of his globes are today in Austria, Germany and Belgium, while the International Coronelli Society for the Study of Globes, based in Vienna, is named after Vincenzo Coronelli.

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou

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