I just came across Edward Quin’s An Historical Atlas (1828), with maps that show ‘how the political world was divided up at different moments of history, and, through the device of clouds rolling back, he indicated how much of the world was known to the West at each stage in history’.

The way the clouds reveal parts of the map reminds me of the drawing in Thomas Baldwin’s Airopaidia (1786), the first drawing made from sketches drawn from a vehicle in flight, in this case a balloon. Both the aerial perspective and the map are not depicted as all encompassing, but as partial, situated and obscured by clouds.

I first saw them in the book ‘Cartographies of Time‘ by Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton, and then on this blog




The Empire of Cyrus the Great


At the time of the Death of Constantine.   khan

The Empire of Kublai Khan

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