Josh W. Poorman '13, Gettysburg College

Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2012


Art; Interdisciplinary Studies


This paper situates Dutch mapmaker Willem Blaeu’s Asia noviter delineata—part of the Stuckenberg Map Collection in the Gettysburg College Special Collections—within the larger framework of Renaissance thought and a shifting colonial balance of power. The map’s pictorial marginalia expresses a Dutch quest for empirical knowledge that echoed contemporary cabinets of curiosities throughout early modern Europe. Similar to these cabinets, Blaeu’s map can be seen as a cartographic teatro mundi, used to propagate Dutch hegemony through both a robust naval presence and an expanding geographic and natural knowledge of the world.


This paper was written for ARTH/IDS 284: Wonders of Nature and Artifice: The Renaissance Quest for Knowledge, Fall 2012.