Hendrick Doncker


Artist Biography:

The Dutch publisher Hendrick Doncker was born in 1626 and died in 1699. He ran a flourishing business for much of his life as an Amsterdam bookseller and publisher of sea atlases and navigation textbooks. During the period, many maps and charts were simply copied from other publishers, but Doncker’s charts were his own work and were noted for their constant revision and general accuracy. He also worked for many years with Pieter Goos and Anthonie Jacobsz in producing a pilot guide entitled “De Zeespiegel”, his great maritime atlas first published in 1644 and then re-issued in 1676. Doncker was also the first cartographer to provide a map of the Eastern Seaboard of North America, which he published in 1660. Later in his career, he worked with his son, also called Hendrick Doncker, before selling most of his business to Johannes van Keulen, who owned a shop across the street. Van Keulen gradually became, in the 18th century, the predominant house for navigational publications, to the extent that all sea atlases were referred to as “Van Keulens” in later years, drawing in part on the eminence of Doncker’s maps and charts from the previous century. Doncker was one of several Amsterdam chartmakers who played an important role in the brief Dutch ascendancy at sea during the 17th century. The growing Dutch merchant fleet was provided with ever-improving charts, and the care and assiduous updating of the charts which Doncker published established his name at the very forefront of his field.

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