“The reinvention of daily life means marching off the edge of our maps.” – Bob Black
For thousands of years maps have helped people define, explain and navigate their way through the world and using them to decorate one’s home is hardly a novel idea. In fact, the tradition can be dated all the way back to the Ancient Romans who created mosaic tiles that displayed elaborate city plans and maps of their region. However, It wasn’t until a few hundred years later during the 17th Century that the Dutch put decorating with maps on the map…. During this “Golden Age” of the Netherlands, the wealthy dutch merchants commissioned large wall maps not only for planning their trading exploits, but as decorative symbols of their wealth and power. The impact of these maps was so great that many 17th Century Dutch painters such as Hals, Vermeer, Ter Borch, De Hooch and Steen began to depict these maps in the interior decoration of their paintings as a form symbolism and allegory.
Map makers during this time were referred to as world describers and I believe that is exactly why what they created still has so much appeal today. Maps are the perfect combination of science and art. They merge the observations, imagination and exaggerations of a people, revealing only fragments of history. Each one has its own unique voice and story that we can connect with on a personal level giving them an enduring beauty. They remind us of where we have been or where we want to go….Enjoy!
Bella Vici Interiors House Beautiful
1734 Parchment-Paper Map of Paris – Steven Shailer Elle Decor
Pair of Vintage Long Island Maps in the East Hampton Home of Robert Stilin
Living Room of John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross Elle Decor July 2010
Celerie Kemble Bathroom Lonny Mag Oct/Nov 2010
Dransfield and Ross
Matthew Patrick Smyth Elle Decor October 2006 Engravings of Paris Circa 1730
Archival Pigment Print Map of Rome on 1st Dibs
Plan De Paris, Wall Map, Commissioned by Turgot, from 1739
Hand Colored Sectional Map of Paris from 1760Set of 6 Copper Engraved Maps of the United States from 1879-1872
1765 Benjamin Donn Wall Map of Devonshire and Exeter, England 76″ x 73″
Plan of the City of New York – 1776