Laurens van der Hem (1621 - 1678)

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Birthplace: Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands
Death: Died in Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands
Occupation: advocaat , belegger en verzamelaar
Managed by: Jennie Schouten
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About Laurens van der Hem

Laurens van der Hem gebruikte zijn elfdelige Atlas Maior van Blaeu als een kapstok voor zijn verzameling van cartografische en topografische kaarten, tekeningen, manuscripten en gedrukte afbeeldingen. Op deze manier is een unieke verzamelatlas ontstaan die niet alleen uniek is vanwege de omvang en de kwaliteit van het materiaal, maar evenzeer omdat het de enige nog bestaande verzamelatlas is die naast gedrukte afbeeldingen ook veel unieke tekeningen en manuscripten omvat van bekende kunstenaars uit die tijd.

Deze atlas, bekend als de Atlas Blaeu - Van der Hem, is tegenwoordig in het bezit van de Nationale Bibliotheek van Oostenrijk in Wenen. In 2004 is de atlas op de lijst van de UNESCO Memory of the World geplaatst.

Between 1662 and 1672 Joan Blaeu published his famous Atlas Maior, or 'Great Atlas', in Amsterdam. The Atlas Maior was edited in Latin, French, Dutch, and Spanish, and, depending on the edition, bound in nine to twelve volumes. With almost 600 maps covering the entire known world, the Atlas Maior was the largest and most expensive book published in the seventeenth century. For over a hundred years, Blaeu's Atlas Maior remained the standard world atlas and the premier product of the Dutch publishing industry, the most prestigious in the world. Collectors wealthy enough to acquire a copy of the Atlas Maior often treated the atlas as a portmanteau for other cartographical, topographical, historical, and ethnographical prints and drawings. The most enterprising collector of this kind was the Amsterdam lawyer Laurens van der Hem (1621-1678). Van der Hem had begun collecting maps and topographical drawings as early as 1645. When the Latin edition of Blaeu's Atlas Maior was published in 1662, he acquired a copy which he used as the base for an even more ambitious collection of maps and topographical drawings and prints. Van der Hem arranged the sheets in the Atlas according to his own ideas, amplifying the volumes with more than 1800 maps, charts, townscapes, architectural prints, portraits, etc., many of them beautifully coloured by the well-known specialist Dirck Jansz. van Santen and his colleagues. Besides prints, the atlas also contains a wealth of drawings: maps, town- and seascapes, renderings of foreign people etc. To enhance the harmony and untiy of the whole, all the sheets were adapted to the size of the Atlas Maior. If they were too wide, they were folded in; if they were too small, they were enlarged, and coloured in such a way that the transition from original print to enlargement became invisible; if the original sheets were too high, they were reduced in format, or cut into pieces, and separately pasted on blank leaves.

The Atlas Blaeu - Van der Hem of the Austrian National Library. Editorial committee: G. Schilder, B. Aikema and P. van der Krogt.

http://cartography.geog.uu.nl/research/vanderhem.html

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Laurens van der Hem's Timeline

1621
1621
Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands
1650
1650
Age 29
1678
1678
Age 57
Amsterdam, Government of Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands
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