FINE 18TH-CENTURY MAP OF EUROPE
“Europa Christiani Orbis Domina in Sua Imperia Regna”. Copper engraving published by Johann Baptiste Homann of Nuremberg, c. 1720. Coloured by a later hand. Size. 57,5 x 49 cm.
The titel cartouche is decorated with cherubs that play between the clouds with the crowns of the different European principalities, between them the seated emperor of the Holy Roman Empire with laurel wreath, sword and eagle.
Johann Baptist Homann (1663-1724) was a mapmaker who founded the famous Homann Heirs publishing company. He lived his entire life in Bavaria, particularly in Nuremberg. Initially, Johann trained to become a priest before converting to Protestantism and working as a notary.
In 1702, Johann founded a publishing house that specialized in engravings. The firm flourished, becoming the leading map publisher in Germany and an important entity in the European map market. In 1715, Johann was named Imperial Geographer to the Holy Roman Empire by Charles VI and made a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Most importantly for his business, his reputation and contacts gained him imperial printing privileges which protected his publications and recommended him to customers. Johann is best known for this Grosser Atlas ueber die ganze Welt, or the Grand Atlas of the World, published in 1716.
After Johann died in 1724, the business passed to his son, Christoph (1703-1730). Upon Christoph’s early death, the company passed to subsequent heirs, with the name of the company changing to Homann Erben, or Homann Heirs. The firm continued in business until 1848.