Object of the Month

“Constantinople” – The Map

Author: Anonymous; Dating: 2/2 16th century; Technique: chisel etching on metal, painted with watercolors; Dimensions: image 327x485mm; image + bleed 331x495mm; paper 420x560mm.

The map depicts the city of Constantinople, both on its European and Asian sides, bathed in the waters of the Golden Horn gulf and separated by the Bosphorus which, through the Dardanelles strait, connects it to the Aegean and the Mediterranean seas. The main edifices of the city appear within the walls that surround the territory of the old Byzantium: the vestiges of Emperor Constantin Palace by the Church of St. Sophia, St. Luke Church, St. Catherine Church, St. Peter Church, St. Thomas Church, the Colosseum, the Arsenal, the Patriarchy, the Theater, the Grand Seraglio, The Blue Mosque etc. On its Asian side, among other edifices, there appear: the Galata citadel, the Pera seaport, etc.

The entrances and the main seaports are marked all around the wall which surrounds the city.

On the waters of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn gulf, numerous ships float heading for the many seaports spread along the shore.

The names of the different monuments or important places are written in Italian.

On the bottom side of the map, 12 medallions showcase in a symbolic way the profile or ¾ busts of the Sultans, from Osman to Selim II. The last medallion is left empty.

The medallions are separated by the image of a riding commander accompanied by a group of janissaries. On a page on the back of the map, there is a text written in Latin about Constantinople.