Granata Nova et California

Wytfliet’s early map of California with legendary cities of Cibola.

Cartographer(s): Cornelius van Wytfliet
Date: 1597
Place: Louvain
Dimensions: 29 x 22.9 cm (11.4 x 9 in)
Condition Rating: VG+

Out of stock

SKU: NL-00072 Category:


This is the first printed map to focus on California and the American Southwest, from the first atlas devoted entirely to maps of the Americas.

A very attractive map with a strapwork title cartouche and fully engraved seas, Wytfliet’s work was referred to as a continuation of Ptolemy, despite the fact that there was little connection with Ptolemy except for his name on the title page. Wytfliet compiled his atlas using multiple published sources, including Ramusio, Hakluyt and De Bry. The basis of this map is taken from Petrus Plancius’ influential world map of 1592, including the error in naming the Tropicus Capricorni instead of the correct Tropic of Cancer.

The most notable feature of the map is the location of the legendary seven cities of Cibola, Septem civitatum Patria, shown surrounding a lake, out of which flows a river that empties into the Mar Vermeio or Gulf of California. The information on the map is from Spanish sources including the narrative of Fray Marco de Niza in 1539 and the account of a rescue party led by Antonio de Espego in 1582.

Published in Descriptionis Ptolemaicae Augmentum…


Cornelius van Wytfliet

Cornelis van Wytfliet (died around 1597) was a geographer from Leuven in the Habsburg Netherlands, best known for producing the Descriptionis Ptolemaicae augmentum sive Occidentis notitia brevis commentario, as a supplement to Ptolemy’s Geographia.

Descriptionis‘ was published in Leuven in 1597 and is considered the first atlas devoted exclusively to the New World. It featured nineteen maps: one world map and eighteen regional maps. The regional maps, in particular, are notable as early representations of specific areas of North and South America.

Condition Description

A dark impression with a couple of minor printer's creases in the map and marginal soiling. Professionally backed with Japanese tissue to repair a few chips in the blank margins, far from image.


Burden #106; Heckrotte #7; Wheat (TWM) #29; Wagner #188.