Joan Blaeu, Atlas Maior, 1686
In the Age of Empire, maps of the New World were often decorated with pictures of women, which helped reinforce the idea that these were virgin territories ready to be, well, penetrated. Here the word Brazil surrounds a drawing of an unclothed native woman sleeping peacefully in a hammock with her monkey and a parrot beside her: The Amazon symbolized by a scene of idyllic simplicity. In fact, one reason that the Americas are named for Amerigo Vespucci rather than their discoverer is that Vespucci wrote in loving detail of his crew’s libidinous exploits with the sexually liberated women of the Caribbean. As a result, his memoirs outsold Columbus’ three-to-one.
Monday Mar 3 @ 07:20pm
tagged as: monsters. history. map. cartography. brazil. maps. art.