Teixeira’s Topographia de la Villa de Madrid in The Art Bulletin

Posted in journal articles by Editor on June 15, 2014


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In the latest issue of The Art Bulletin (which I’m just now catching up on). . .

Jesús Escobar, “Map as Tapestry: Science and Art in Pedro Teixeira’s 1656 Representation of Madrid,” The Art Bulletin 96 (March 2014): 50–69.

Abstract: Pedro Teixeira’s Topographia de la Villa de Madrid is arguably the greatest representation of a city in the Spanish Habsburg world. Measuring nearly six feet high and more than nine feet wide, the map is a remarkable scientific achievement as well as a sophisticated art object. An exploration of the map’s text and ornament details the efforts of a scientist working in a court setting to shape a grandiose picture of the Spanish capital. Displayed on a wall, Topographia de la Villa de Madrid rivaled paintings and tapestries in their ability to exalt the image of a powerful ruler.

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Though dating to the the mid-seventeenth century, the map caught my attention for Enfilade because of this statement and footnote toward the end of the article:

As testament to the map’s legacy, a derivative map at a smaller scale than Teixeira’s was engraved in four plates in 1683 by the Dutch-Spanish artist Gregorio Fosman (1635–1713) and printed in the Madrid studio of Santiago Ambrona.107 (66).

107. Molina Campuzano, Planos de Madrid, 283–89, notes that the depiction of the city in Fosman’s map is approximately one-seventh the size of Teixeira’s. Fosman’s image would, in itself, serve as a model for a number of eighteenth-century maps of Madrid engraved by foreign artists in Paris, Amsterdam, and Augsburg. . . (69).

If anyone is looking then for the equivalent for Madrid of Giambattista Nolli’s 1748 map of Rome, Teixeira’s Topographia de la Villa de Madrid would seem to be at least part of the answer. -CH


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