Vespucci off the coast of the Americas, 1499

Vespucci off the coast of the Americas, 1499

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Credit: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection/NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Vespucci off the coast of the Americas. Illustration of the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512) on his ship, off the coast of South America. Vespucci is depicted in scholar's attire, with his armour on the ship's deck. Sea creatures and deities are shown, along with other symbolic representations. In 1499, Vespucius followed in the path of Columbus's voyages to the New World, where he explored the coast of South America. These explorations allowed him to demonstrate that the land was not part of Asia, but a previously unknown fourth continent. In 1507 the German mapmaker Martin Waldseemuller printed the first map that used the name 'America' for the New World, named after Amerigo Vespucci. Engraving by Adriaen Collaert after Jan van der Straet (Johann Stradanus). Original artwork published in around 1585.

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