TITLE: The Green, or Quirini, Globe
DATE: 1515-28
AUTHOR: unknown
DESCRIPTION: In the geographical department of the Bibliotheque Nationale of Paris is a globe referred to in cartographical literature as the Green globe, or the Quirini globe, the first name being given to it by Gabriel Marcel, by reason of the prominence of the color green employed in painting the seas. It is an unsigned and undated wooden sphere, 24 cm in diameter. Its surface appears to have been covered with a coating of paint, originally white, and on this the world map was drawn. There is much artistic skill displayed in the coast configurations, with the deeply shaded seaboards making the land appear to rise above the ocean surface, and in the representation of the islands, most of which are made conspicuous in red or gold. The inscriptions in dark brown, perhaps originally black, are neatly written, clearly suggesting that the globe was constructed in the first quarter of the sixteenth century, perhaps as early as 1513 or 1515. The equator, the tropics, and the polar circles are traced in gold; the degrees of latitude and longitude are marked in red, and at intervals of ten degrees. The prime meridian is made to pass through the Cape Verde Islands, islands referred to as Insule Portugalensium invente anno Domini 1472. This globe shows a striking resemblance to those of Schöner of 1515 (Slide #323), a fact which has led Marcel to refer it to the Schönerian school, though not to attribute it directly to Schöner himself. A very important and interesting feature of the globe is the appearance of the name America no less than four times in the New World; twice in what we now call North America and twice in South America. It is, indeed, the oldest known cartographical monument on which the name America is given both to the north and the south continental areas. In the southem continent we read America ab inuentore nuncupata, and near the Antilles Iste insule per Columbus genuensem almirantem et mandato regis castelle invente sunt [These islands were discovered by Columbus, a Genoese admiral, by command of the king of Castile]. Harrisse observes that it appears the cartographer thought of Columbus as the discoverer of the West India islands only, and that he thought the honor of the discovery of the American continents, north and south, belongs to Vespucius. An austral land appears, though nameless, which Schöner called Brasilie regio on his globe of 1515, and Brasilia inferior on his globe of 1520.

Location: Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris

Size: 24 cm diameter


*Stevenson, E.L., Terrestrial and Celestrial Globes, pp. 76-77, Figure 38

Index of Renaissance Maps