Collaboration agreement between the Naval Museum and Factum Foundation: a facsimile of the Chart of Juan de la Cosa

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

From 25th to 27th January, Factum Foundation carried out the recording of the Chart of Juan de la Cosa, from the collection of the Naval Museum in Madrid.

Signed by the Spanish cartographer in 1500, the Chart of Juan de la Cosa is the first world map to depict America. The New World is rendered in green (a nod to its vegetation) and at larger scale than the monochrome Old World, and the map incorporates information from the many exploratory expeditions of the 1490s, such as those of John Cabot, Christopher Columbus, Bartolomé Diaz and Vasco de Gama. The map's large size (96 x 186 cm) and rich artistic decoration using Catholic themes make it probable that it was produced for Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic Monarchs of Spain.

Factum Foundation has recorded the parchment map using non-contact technologies: the Lucida 3D Scanner for the surface and composite photography for the colour. The digital data will belong to the Naval Museum for study and conservation purposes.

An exact facsimile of the map will also be produced and will be part of the exhibition display at the Spanish Gallery in Bishop Auckland, due to open in July 2021, and will subsequently be donated to the Naval Museum.

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