This map is derived from the extremely rare two-sheet one by George Lily (c.1510-59) printed in Rome in 1546. That was the first separately published map of the British Isles and is recognised as the first modern map of the Isles. Its sources were numerous with many up to date. The big improvement was in the depiction of Scotland. Lily was a son of the famous grammarian, or linguist, William Lily and was under the patronage of Reginald Pole, with whom he returned from Italy in 1556. He was a noted historian and Catholic exile in Rome. Unfortunately, that map is of remarkable rarity with just 14 examples currently recorded, only two of which are in private hands.
Of the original highly influential map there were more than a dozen later derivatives, all separately published. In 1549 two woodcut maps were published in Antwerp both of which survive in just one known example. Similarly, one by Matteo Pagano in Venice, also a woodcut, is known in just one example. The first copper plate version was published in Rome in 1556, which is unsigned and bears the newly formed Jesuit Society insignia ‘IHS’ lower right, by which monogram it is usually known. Shortly after in 1562, Ferrando Bertelli (fl.1556-72) published this similarly orientated map in Venice.
A simple title within a lined panel appears on the right side which is concluded with the imprint. A further panel on the left bears more text with the imprint of ‘Ferando de Berteli exc. 1561’. The second ‘I’ in the date of the right cartouche appears added which likely is a last minute addition as the Bertelli imprint is dated 1561. Degrees of longitude and latitude are marked but the scale of miles is omitted. All four cardinals are named and are placed inside the border. The engraving itself is the work of the renowned Paolo Forlani (fl.1560-71), we know little about him. David Woodward expended considerable effort to catalogue his works. Forlani, or Furlani, came from Verona and died it is assumed in Venice in the mid-1570s, quite possible in one of the outbreaks of the plague which claimed thirty percent of the population. Caraci claimed his career began in 1558 without providing supporting evidence. The earliest dated map he signed is 1560, one of the world for Giovanni Camocio. Along with Giacomo Gastaldi he worked in Venice and produced some of the most attractive maps of the period. Provenance: private English collection. Bifolco & Ronca (2018) I p. 760; Karrow (1993) pp. 226 & 270; Lynam (1934); Meurer (2004) no. 6; Shirley (1991) 70; Tooley (1939) 272; Tooley (1999-2004); Woodward (1990) no. 12.