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Kunyu wanguo quantu (Complete Map of All Nations on Earth), c. 17th century (right half)

Original by Matteo Ricci in 1602; Produced in Japan

Hong Kong Maritime Museum

Hong Kong Maritime Museum

From 1584 to 1602, the Italian Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) drew many world maps in China that incorporated Chinese characters. This is Ricci’s third map 'Kunyu wanguo quan tu', it was presented to the Wanli Emperor, who ordered the craftsman to convert it into a screen. Ricci’s maps were later copied in Hangzhou, and some of them were taken to Japan after 1607. The maps attracted widespread interest and admiration from Japan's ruling class. Reproductions were quickly made, some in the form of scrolls, albums of paintings or calligraphy, and others framed as screens.

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Details

  • Title: Kunyu wanguo quantu (Complete Map of All Nations on Earth), c. 17th century (right half)
  • Creator: Original by Matteo Ricci in 1602; Produced in Japan
  • Location Created: Japan
  • Physical Dimensions: 171 x 390 cm
  • Original Language: Chinese
  • Provenance: Collection of K. L. Tam
  • Type: Painting
  • Publisher: Mapping Ming China's Maritime World: The Selden Map and Other Treasures from the University of Oxford, 2015
  • Rights: Copyright held by K. L. Tam
  • Medium: Hand calligraphy and coloured paper screen
  • object id: HKMM2014.02.0005

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