Copper engraving, 50.5 x 68 cm, original hand-colour in outline, a light stain east of Japan, blank verso.
Venetian map-makers and engravers Paolo and Francesco Santini (their precise relationship is uncertain but they were almost certainly related) are chiefly known for their Atlas Universel, which follows the work of leading contemporary map-makers such as D’Anville, Jaillot and Robert de Vaugondy. The plates were acquired by Remondini in 1781. Here they have appropriated the most recent edition of Muller’s map of North America, which was first printed in St Petersburg 1758 to show the results of Bering’s Great Northern Expedition and revised in the wake of subsequent Russian voyages of discovery in the 1760s. Muller’s map introduced fictitious islands to the Bering Strait, but discarded some of Delisle’s more egregious misconceptions such as the Mer de l’Ouest (although an equally mythical ‘R. de l’Ouest’ leading from the west coast of America to Lake Winnipeg perpetuates the idea of a viable Northwest Passage).