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New Gonyeo-manguk-cheondo(New Matteo Ricci’s World Map)

1708

The Museum of Silhak

The Museum of Silhak
Namyangju-si, South Korea

This is a new version of Gonyeo manguk jeondo (Map of the Myriad Countries of the World by Mateo Ricci) made by the Silhak Museum based on the prototype, a world map commissioned by the royal family of the Joseon Dynasty in 1708.
In 1602, Matteo Ricci, an Italian Jesuit priest, jointly with Li Zhizao, a Chinese scholar, made Kunyu Wanguo Quantu (Chinese for Gonyeo manguk jeondo) in Beijing. The map was introduced to Joseon in 1603.
In 1708 (the 34th year of King Sukjong’s reign), two hand-copied reproductions of it were made in Joseon at the command of King Sukjong, one of which is kept at the Seoul National University (SNU) Museum (Treasure No. 849), while the other was consumed in a fire at Bongseonsa Temple during the Korean War.
The Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies, SNU managed to digitally reproduce the map that used to be kept at Bongseonsa Temple in the form of an eight-panel folding screen using photos as a reference material. In 2011, the Silhak Museum redid the work of restoring it based on the one made by SNU. The illegible letters were restored based on a copy (1602 edition) of Kunyu Wanguo Quantu kept at Kyoto University in Japan and the University of Minnesota in the United States. For the coloring, the workers referred to the one kept at the SNU Museum.
The second to seventh panels are a world map. The first panel contains a foreword written by Matteo Ricci while the last panel contains a foreword written by Prime Minister and Head of Gwansanggam (Bureau of Astronomy) Choe Seok-jeong.

Details

  • Title: New Gonyeo-manguk-cheondo(New Matteo Ricci’s World Map)
  • Date: 1708
  • Physical Location: The Museum of Silhak

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