Matheo Pagano (fl.1530-62) was a wood engraver and map seller in Venice. The first printed maps of Cyprus were Isolario derived and published by Bartolomeo dalli Sonetti and Benedetto Bordone. The next significant map of Cyprus was this one by Matheo Pagano in 1538. It was the first map of the island to show a number of medieval towns in the interior of the island. Stylianou gave the figure of 273 place-names in all. It was to remain the main map of the island until 1570. Its overall shape is derived from that of Sonneti. Stylianou analyses in some detail the toponyms with the later derivatives of Camocio and Ortelius, the latter being particularly responsible for the geography’s distribution.
It is generally believed that the map was commissioned by the Venetian Council of Ten, as mural decorations of the college. They requested this work from Giovanni Domenico Zorzi who painted it in 1535. Contemporary documents state that he was executing ‘a design of the Holy Land and the island of Cyprus to be place in the Chapel for its adornment’. The painted map has since been destroyed. It was printed anonymously in 1538 by Matteo Pagano.
Tooley in 1939 cited just the one known example at the Studien Bibliothek, Dillingen, Germany. An example was also found in an early Italian composite atlas in the Nordenskiold Collection, Helsinki, Finland. This example at the time of sale is only the third known example. Since than three further examples have been discovered. Rodney Shirley located one in in an early composite Lafreri style atlas in the Bibliotheque de la Sorbonne, Paris in 1996. Another was recorded in the Bibliothèque Municipale, Lyon in a composite atlas and one more is known to be in a private collection. Provenance: a superb private collection in the USA. Bagrow (1940). ‘Matheo Pagano, a Venetian Cartographer of the 16th Century: A Descriptive List of His Maps’, in Beans Library Monograph no. 15; Karrow (1993) pp. 612-3 no. 87/7; Nordenskiold Collection Volume I no. 48 map no. 26; Nordenskiold Periplus p. 13 fig. 4; Shirley (1996). ‘Something Old, Something New from Paris and Nancy’, in IMCoS Journal no. 67 pp. 32-6; Shirley (1997) ‘Matteo Pagano’s Map of the British Isles, 1555’ IMCoS Journal 68 pp. 29-31; Stylianou (1980) pp. 16-25 no. 19; Stylianou (1984) ‘Some Highlights from the History of the Cartography of Cyprus’, in IMCoS Journal no. 16 pp. 14-16; Tooley (1939) no. 179; Zacharakis (1992) ‘A Catalogue of Printed Maps of Greece, 1477-1800’, no. 1642.