Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Magna Carta - 6000pc from Clementoni

Clementoni's Magna Carta. Magnificat color in this puzzle.
This is the first in our collection of 6000 piece maps and
our first big boy Clementoni.
Claes Janszoon Visscher's Magna Carta - 6000pc from Clementoni is brilliantly colored and printed on fine linen paper. The pieces feel fantastic in hand and have rounded knobs (versus for lack of a better word, ear shaped knobs). They are printed on blue board and look fantastic. I look forward to assembling this one.

It proved to be very difficult to find information about this piece of art on the web. Eventually I found a French blog where the author expressed the same problem I was having. Google returned nothing but results to buy a poster of it and almost no one gave an artists name. Well, it turns out, there is a lot of confusion.

Claes Janszoon Visscher (a.k.a. Nicolaus Ioannis Vischerius or Nicolas Joannes Piscator) was born in 1587 in Amsterdam. His father Nicolas Visscher was a cartographer and taught him the family business. This map shows two hemispheres, separated at the Atlantic Ocean. The two smaller circles depict the signs of the zodiac. Flanking the upper zodiac are depictions of Terra and Aqua (Land and Water). The lower zodiac is flanked by Ignis and Aer (Fire and Air). The inner frame encapsulating the two globes represent the four seasons clockwise from the left: Ver, Aestas, Autumnus, Hiems (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter).

The outer frame shows the 12 months of the year in the vertical columns and in the corners features prominent figures from history, clockwise from the upper left; Ninus, Cyrus the Great, Julius Ceaser, and Alexander the Great.

The top pane depicts each continent and the lower set of drawings illustrates the Charity (Mathew 25 versus 35 and 36); 
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
One last piece of interesting trivia, Visscher means fisherman and the family signed their work by placing a fisherman somewhere. Can you find it? It took me a while! 

The following are close ups of the map showing each section discussed above.

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