Map showing the recapture of Bahia from the Dutch, Atlas of Brazil (1631) I. Teixeira Albernaz
João Teixeira Albernaz I also referred to as João Teixeira Albernaz, the Elder (Lisbon, late 16th century – c. 1662), to distinguish him from his grandson, was the most prolific Portuguese cartographer of the seventeenth century. His works include nineteen atlases, a total of two hundred and fifteen maps. He stands out for the variety of themes, which record the progress of maritime and land exploration, particularly in the Portuguese colony of Brazil. João Teixeira Albernaz belonged to a prominent family of cartographers whose work extended from mid-sixteenth century until the late eighteenth century, including his father Luís Teixeira, uncle Domingos Teixeira, brother Pedro Teixeira Albernaz and grandson João Teixeira Albernaz, the younger, as well as Estevão Teixeira.
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Detail of “Pequeno atlas do Maranhão e Grão-Pará” showing the city of Belém, Brazil, 1629
João Teixeira Albernaz must have learned the craft from his father Luís Teixeira, starting his own work in the seventeenth century. On 29 October 1602 he got his licence as master for “Nautical charts, astrolabes, compass needles and cross-staff”, having been examined by the royal chief-cosmographer, João Baptista Lavanha. Three years later, in 1605, he was appointed cartographer for the Warehouse Guinea and India (Casa da Mina and India?), where he worked until the end of his life.
In the Archive of the Indies in Seville, there is a document recording his presence and also his brother, Pedro Teixeira in Madrid in order to design charts of Strait of St. Vincent and the Strait of Magellan. In 1622 presented a petition to the post of chief cosmographer, but the post was passed over to Valentim de Sá. In the late seventeenth century, in an opinion issued by Manuel Pimentel about the 1642 Atlas of Brazil, warns that errors in the first chart of this Atlas, which did not respect the boundary agreed between Portugal and Spain, concluding that the book was “no more than good paintings and illuminations”.
His work is of great interest both for its breadth and variety, and for the record of the progress of discovery and Portuguese maritime and overland exploration, particularly with regard to Brazil. His works amount to nineteen atlas, grouped and loose charts, in a total o