lundi 15 octobre 2007


Caravelles représentées sur un détail de la carte de Piri Reîs

On trouve sur la carte de Piri Reîs plusieurs caravelles, à deux mâts et voiles latines, ressemblant à une caravelle portugaise du modèle de la Boa Esperança. Le deuxième mât est présent, l'antenne également mais, la voile n'est pas déployée. Les trois illustrations sont très similaires et semblent représenter le même navire. Ce modèle de caravelle est également identique à la Nina de Christophe Colomb.

Les trois caravelles sur la carte de Piri Reis.

Maquette de la “Boa Esperança”.
(Photo JM Urvoy)

Détail de la carte d'où proviennent les illustrations.
Cette carte fut dessinée par Piri Ibn Haji Mehmed, connu comme étant le neveu de Kemal Reis, à Gallipoli, au mois de muharrem de l'année 919 (entre le 9 mars et le 7 avril 1513)


... un infedele Genovese, chiamato Colon-bo ... [... a Genoese infidel named Columbus...] from an untitled, handmade, mutilated planisphere of the nautical type.

The detail reproduced here is found on the parchment stop side, inside the South-America coast.

20 x 16 cm (detail only ); 90 x 65 cm (full fragment).
Topkapi Saray Museum, Istanbul.

ln the cartouche right below the one reported here, the author says: "... this [map] was handmade by the humble undersigned. It is a result of comparative studies done on about twenty mappae mundi [world maps]; among them there are some maps made in Iskender dhu-l Karnain's time, on eight Dja fariye [= Geographies this is a reference to Ptolemy's work], one Arab map of the Indies and four recently compiled Portuguese maps ... and, finally, on a map of the Western regions made by Colon-bo "
A similarly detailed cartouche would not appear on a European map until 1544, a narration of the earliest accounts of Columbus's enterprise found in a lengthy side-note explanation to Sebastian Cabot's Planisfero.
Piri Re'îs claims, plausibly, that his account of Columbus's voyages derives from that of a Spaniard enslaved by the Turks after participating in Columbus's expeditions. Many details actually match what is reported by Western sources: among other things, even Peter Martyr of Anghiera mentions in his first decade the supposed refusal by the Republic of Genoa to finance Columbus's project.
[Maria Teresa di Palma]

  • AFETINAN, D. Life and Works of the turkish Admral Piri Re îs: the Oldest Map of america Drawn by Piri Re'îs, Ankara, 1975.
  • AKçuRA, K. "La carte de Piri Re'îs." Türk Tarihi Arast,rma Kurumu Yay,lar,ndan 1 (1935).
  • ALMAGIÀ, R. "Il mappamondo di Piri Re'îs e la carta di Colombo del 1498." Bollettino della Reale Società Geografica Italiana II, 6 (1934): 442-449. KAHLE, P. "Impronte colombiane in una carta turca del 1513." La Cultura, 1931: 774-785.
  • KAHLE, P. "A Lost Map of Columbus." The Geographical Review 23 (1933): 621-638.
  • KAHLE, P. Die verschollene Colllmuls-Karte von I498 in einer türkischen Weltkarte von 1513. Berlin and Leipzig: Walter de Gruyter & Co., 1933.
  • OBERHUMMER, E. "An Early Turkish Map of America and the Last Map of Columbus." ln Actas y trabajos cientificos dei XXV Congreso lnternacional de Americanistas (La Plata I9J2). Universidad Nacional de La Plata: Buenos Aires, 1934. Vol. 2, 283-286. Oz, T. "Turkish Maps in the Topkapi Saray Museum." Imago Mundi 7 (1949): 92.
  • REGUERRA SIERRA, E. "El mapa de Piri Re'îs. Examen y valoracion del pintoresco, raro y desconcertante portulano ejecutado por el almirante turco Piri Re'îs en 1513." Revista Geogrdfica Americana 21 (1954): 43-46.
  • TOPKAP, SARAY,. A Map of Piri Re'îs, 1513. (Color reproduction.)
* As in all the commentary notes, here the dimensions refer to the detail reproduced and discussed in the text. ln this case, for example, they refer to the size of the cartouche.

Source de ce texte : Nuova Raccolta Colombiana, Volume XI, "Columbian Iconography", Page 422.

Informations complémentaires sur le contenu de cette carte.

Jean-Michel Urvoy.


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