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Mercator the Map Maker Linocut - History of Science, Cartography, Geography, Lino Block Print Portrait with Map of Gerardus Mercator

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Description

This is a two-colour (two block) lino block print shows Mercator the famed cartographer and his world map, employing his own projection. It is one of a second edition of only 12 prints. I carved two blocks in reverse; one representing his world map of 1595 in green and the second based on contemporary portraits in black, printed on Japanese washi paper 12" by 12" (30.5 cm by 30.5 cm). The edition is variable and each print is unique in its own way.

Gerardus Mercator was a 16th century Flemish cartographer. I would say "The" cartographer, except Flanders seemed to be overrun with first rate cartographers in the 16th century (Gemma Frisius, Abraham Ortelius... stiff competition), perhaps because mapping their territory was extremely challenging, what with the floods and the succeeding armies... I don't even know how they managed to keep track of whether they were (bizarrely) part of Spain, or the Holy Roman Empire or what. Mercator himself had to be on the ball as his tendencies ran to the Protestant end of the spectrum.

What made Mercator a contender for "The" cartographer, was in fact his abilities as a mathematician -and like those of us scientists who feel compelled also to create art he was wasn't hindered by his immense ability as an engraver. He produced beautiful world maps (a version of which is depicted in this print), globes, but his name has gone down in history for the Mercator Projection. The Mercator projection is a cylindrical map projection which became the standard map projection for nautical purposes because of its ability to represent lines of constant course, known as rhumb lines or loxodromes, as straight segments. While the linear scale is constant in all directions around any point, thus preserving the angles and the shapes of small objects (which makes the projection conformal), the Mercator projection distorts the size and shape of large objects, as the scale increases from the Equator to the poles, where it becomes infinite.

The Mercator projection will be quite familiar to you. It is generally used as a sort of 'default' projection, even today. If you are Canadian, like me, you might be lead to over-estimate the size of the arctic archipelago and underestimate the immensity of the African continent, due to the ubiquity of this projection. However, his achievement was fundamental to the explosion in exploration that came after his paradigm breaking world maps.

When the Mad Scientists of Etsy chose CARTOGRAPHY as a challenge theme, I knew, as an earth scientist, (especially a marine geophysicist, used to spending quality time with nautical charts), a lover of the history of science and as a printmaker, that Mercator was the apt choice.

I have other prints about cartography, map-making, earth and planetary science in my science and scientist section:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/minouette/items?ref=l2-shopheader-name§ion_id=6820498
This is a two-colour (two block) lino block print shows Mercator the famed cartographer and his world map, employing his own projection. It is one of a second edition of only 12 prints. I carved two blocks in reverse; one representing his world map of 1595 in green and the second based on contemporary portraits in black, printed on Japanese washi paper 12" by 12" (30.5 cm by 30.5 cm). The edition is variable and each print is unique in its own way.

Gerardus Mercator was a 16th century Flemish cartographer. I would say "The" cartographer, except Flanders seemed to be overrun with first rate cartographers in the 16th century (Gemma Frisius, Abraham Ortelius... stiff competition), perhaps because mapping their territory was extremely challenging, what with the floods and the succeeding armies... I don't even know how they managed to keep track of whether they were (bizarrely) part of Spain, or the Holy Roman Empire or what. Mercator himself had to be on the ball as his tendencies ran to the Protestant end of the spectrum.

What made Mercator a contender for "The" cartographer, was in fact his abilities as a mathematician -and like those of us scientists who feel compelled also to create art he was wasn't hindered by his immense ability as an engraver. He produced beautiful world maps (a version of which is depicted in this print), globes, but his name has gone down in history for the Mercator Projection. The Mercator projection is a cylindrical map projection which became the standard map projection for nautical purposes because of its ability to represent lines of constant course, known as rhumb lines or loxodromes, as straight segments. While the linear scale is constant in all directions around any point, thus preserving the angles and the shapes of small objects (which makes the projection conformal), the Mercator projection distorts the size and shape of large objects, as the scale increases from the Equator to the poles, where it becomes infinite.

The Mercator projection will be quite familiar to you. It is generally used as a sort of 'default' projection, even today. If you are Canadian, like me, you might be lead to over-estimate the size of the arctic archipelago and underestimate the immensity of the African continent, due to the ubiquity of this projection. However, his achievement was fundamental to the explosion in exploration that came after his paradigm breaking world maps.

When the Mad Scientists of Etsy chose CARTOGRAPHY as a challenge theme, I knew, as an earth scientist, (especially a marine geophysicist, used to spending quality time with nautical charts), a lover of the history of science and as a printmaker, that Mercator was the apt choice.

I have other prints about cartography, map-making, earth and planetary science in my science and scientist section:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/minouette/items?ref=l2-shopheader-name§ion_id=6820498

Reviews

5 out of 5 stars
(367)
Reviewed by Katie Nush
5 out of 5 stars
Mar 19, 2018
its beautiful! very cute and packed well, somehow arrived slightly creased in the middle? I love it nonetheless
Tapir Baby Linocut - Black and White Block Printed Animal - Cute Baby Malayan Tapir Lino Block Print

Reviewed by Jay Wendy
5 out of 5 stars
Mar 2, 2018
Love it! It’s perfect and just what we were looking for.
Turtles, All The Way Down - Linocut Block Print about Turtles Supporting the Earth - Legendary Cosmology - Unmoved Mover Paradox

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Please be advised that some stuffed animals and pillows are embellished with small items, like buttons and beads, which can be choking hazards. These items should not be given to infants, toddlers or pets who might gnaw on them. Any item with buttons or beads will be clearly identified in its description and in the materials list. If you would like buttons and beads removed for safety reasons, please let me know. You may also request a similar item, without such embellishment.

Mercator the Map Maker Linocut - History of Science, Cartography, Geography, Lino Block Print Portrait with Map of Gerardus Mercator

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$40.00

Overview

  • Handmade item
  • Height: 12 Inches
  • Width: 12 Inches
  • Materials: linoleum, carving knives, ink, paper, washi, japanese paper, brayer, baren
  • Feedback: 367 reviews
  • Favorited by: 24 people
  • Gift wrapping and message available
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