Willem Janzoon Blaeu (1571 - 1638)

One of the most influential mapmakers of the Golden Age of mapmaking. Blaeu was born at Uitgeest or Alkmaar, the son of a herring salesman and destined to succeed his father in the trade, but his interests lay more in Mathematics and Astronomy. Between 1594 and 1596 he was a student of the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe and qualified as an instrument and globe maker. In 1600 he discovered the second ever variable star now known as P Cygni. On his return to the Netherlands, he made published his own maps and world globes. He ran his own printing works which allowed him to continually update his own atlases such as his, Atlas Novus published in 1635. In 1633 he was appointed map-maker for the VOC .

He died in Amsterdam in 1638 and his business was continued by his two sons, Johannes and Cornelis Blaeu.

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