ORTELIUS, Abraham
(b. 1528, Antwerpen, d. 1598, Antwerpen)

Image of the Pilgrimage of St Paul

1579
Engraving
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This engraving was an illustration of Abraham Ortelius' Theatre of the World, first published in Antwerp in 1570.

Abraham Ortelius of Antwerp was one of the foremost Renaissance cartographers. In the first half of the 16th century an unprecedented world exploration occurred. Lands long known and recently discovered alike were charted with growing precision. Ortelius's Theatre of the World was prized for its accuracy.

Ortelius apologized that his map recounting St Paul's travels was not as thorough as usual, since he limited its labels to towns and places mentioned in the new Testament. He portrayed the biblical, not the modern eastern Mediterranean. The viewer can examine the map, read the accompanying text and meditate upon Paul's extraordinary life. Subsidiary depictions of his dramatic conversion near Damascus and his shipwreck at Malta allow the reader to form an image of Paul while retracting his route.