Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Leo Belgicus

Map of S&N Netherlands "Leo Belgicus"
Pieter Van der Keere (1570/71-1630)

I discovered this great 17th c. map in an exhibition catalog of Dutch Maritime paintings from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. While maps were produced for use, they are also a gorgeous art form (and a common collector's item).

Van den Keere was a highly skilled and prolific engraver in Amsterdam. This is a map of the
Seventeen Provinces of the Low Countries, which was depicted in the form of a lion, "Leo Belgicus" due to the shape of the coastline and the commonality of the use of the lion in many of the provinces coats of arms.

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