The Newest Universal Map of the whole Russian Empire

    The Newest Universal Map of the whole Russian Empire

    Germany, Nurnberg


    Homann, Johann Baptiste

    Paper; сutting, etching, watercolors

    52 х 62 cm (size of the sheet)


    The horizontal sheet features a survey map of the Russian Empire showing the lands from the Arctic Pole to the Japanese Sea and northern borders of China with adjacent territories of neighbouring countries and indication of Tsar’s (previously Ambassador’s) path from Moscow through Tartary to the Great Chinese Empire.

    An inscription in Latin in the cartouche  with a picture featuring allegoric figures is on the bottom left side: "Generalis Totius Imperii Russorum Novissima Tabula Magnam Orbis terrarum partem a Polo Arctico usque ad mare Japonicum et Chinae Septentrionalis confinia exhibens cum via Czarscae nuper Legationis ex urbe Moscua per universam Tartariam ad magnis Chinae Imperatorem ex conatibus Johannis Baptistae Homanni. Norimbergaem".

    Among the figures impersonating welfare and fairness of the regimen, expert and researcher of the engraving D.A. Rovinsky noted the image of Peter I ("different, with a crown and armor below the knees"), and presumably tsarevitch Aleksey with a drawing of a ship model in his hands (Ref.: Rovinsky D.A. Detailed encyclopedia of Russian engraved portraits. St. Petersburg, 1888. V. III, clmn. 1726 [Peter I, No. 673]).

    The scale is given in German miles and Moscow versts.

    The subscriptions and inscriptions are in Latin. Several old notes made with gall nuts ink are on the reverse side.


    Reformations of Peter the Great transformed the Moscovia into a great superpower that has an active impact on the European politics; and this caused Europeans’ urge to have more precise information on geographic, political and ethnographic diversity of the young Russian Empire. This resulted in active publishing geographical maps including up-to-date scientific data. The map is one of such detailed sheets. Unexplored vast expanses rich in furs and other natural resources always attracted foreign travellers and mapmakers.

    At that time big wall maps were in great demand, they were not just functional accessories of travellers, military people or traders, they could be presented as precious gifts even to the members of reigning dynasties.