These are images from a book by Joseph Nigg based on the Olaus Magnus Carta Marina map of Scandinavia from1539. The colors are much brighter in this book. The original wood block map took 9 blocks to create the entire map. The painting on the cask will adopt these colors.
The sea and the land are shown on the Olaus Magnus map and sometimes the land is more interesting than the sea. On land the details are captivating and the names seem familiar at times.
A mythical island thought to be the northern most place on earth. Centuries of stories, from the time of the Greeks, of mysterious lands far to the north make it more interesting that Olaus Magnus had this on his map.
This map gave the world our images of sea monsters. What was meant as a map and work of art became iconic. This amazing map was lost for hundreds of years until a copy was found.
At the time the map was created a common belief was that for every creature on land there was a corresponding on in the sea. Fanciful and frightening monsters decorated maps of the era.
What sailor, in his fragile wooden ship, did not fear the great sea monsters? To have your ship attacked and to be eaten by a hideous beast were real fears for the seamen of old.
This project began in 2019 and will continue through the summer of 2020. The sea monsters of Olaus Magnus are being carved onto a large wine cask. Eventually they will be painted to become an amazing masterpiece.
During my six years in the Navy I did not see any monsters like those of the Carta Marina. But that is not to say they weren't there.
Among the monsters of this cask are islands from our lives. Washington State, California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wales, Japan, and Vietnam sit among the waters of the sea among the monsters.
These creatures with their 8 tentacles have been a staple of scary monsters from the deep.
I pasted some cut-out prints of monsters from the Olaus Magnus map to see what the cask might look like after it is painted.
Captain Ahab was not the only seaman to encounter a whale intent with doing damage. Legends abound with such tales and many images of whale-like creatures are on the map and the cask.
What inspired this masterpiece? The ancient Greeks exploring? The Carta Marina map of 1539?