Cartography Study Guide

These two essays consider different aspects of the practical and conceptual components of mapmaking in the Renaissance. Pinto’s essay is more focused on a specific question, how did the “ichnographic city plan” develop (a plan which corresponds to what we’d now call an “aerial view,” but doesn’t relate to anything that could be directly observed during the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries. Cosgrove’s subject is not about a particular technique, but rather about the region of Venice, the personality of painter/mapmaker/geographer Cristoforo Sorte, and how these different activities were interrelated in that culture.

Pinto: What is an ichnographic plan and what is its historical significance? How does it relate to other forms of mapmaking, like symbolic mapmaking, or maps for navigating the seas?

How did Leonardo’s plan of Imola compare to those that came before it?

What was the significance of Bufalini’s plan of Rome?

Cosgrove: Cosgrove often uses the term “terraferma”: this refers to the territory around Venice that is on land (literally, “solid ground”) in contrast to the lagoon of Venice itself.

Why were Venetians focused on hydrology in the “terraferma”?

What was the relation between landscape painting and map making? Why did Venetians excel in these areas?

What is “speculative geometry?”

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