Universal Chart

Juan Vespucio, 1526.

By Google Arts & Culture

Universal Chart by Juan VespuccioOriginal Source: Hispanic Society, New York.

This is a reproduction of a decorated copy of the Padrón Real (Spain's master map) drawn on parchment by Juan Vespucio, the nephew of the famous Amerigo after whom the New World was named. The reproduction can be found at Madrid's Naval Museum (Museo Naval), while the original is kept at the Hispanic Society in New York.

It is signed in the upper-left margin with the text, "Ju Vespuci, piloto de Su Magestad me fecit en Sevilla. Ño 1526.

This lavish chart, with its double-headed eagle in reference to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, has led some historians to believe it could have been a gift for the emperor's marriage to Isabella of Portugal.

The continents are represented by a range of anecdotal elements such as animals, cities, and mountains.

The South American continent contains fewer place names and less information than Central and North America. Along the coastline, naked locals are depicted in scenes from daily life.

The chart shows the latest Spanish discoveries, including the Strait of Magellan, labeled as the Strait of Sant Anton …

… Mexico City (formerly Tenochtitlan), and the coast from modern-day northern Florida to South Carolina.

This chart is another example of the Crown of Castile's claim to the Maluku (formerly the Moluccas or Spice) Islands, after the voyage there, with the islands again shown to be within Spanish territory.

Credits: Story

Adaptation of the text created by the Spanish National Geographic Institute Library (BIGN) text for the catalogue "The maps and the first world tour".

Image from the collection of the Naval Museum, Madrid.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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