Pieter van der Aa

Leiden, 1659

Pieter van der AA (Leiden, 1659 – Leiden, August 1733) was a Dutch publisher best known for preparing maps and atlases, though he also printed pirated  editions of foreign bestsellers and illustrated volumes. He also printed many maps that were often out of print, which he reissued. Some of his most popular maps were of the African continent,  detailing locations such as Morocco and Madagascar. Many of his later works were printed for the general public in French and Dutch.

Pieter van der Aa was born the son of a German stonecutter from Holstein,  one of three sons who came to run a family printing business. His brother Boudewyn was a printer and his other brother Hildebrand a copper plate engraver.

Pieter van der Aa began his career at Leiden in 1683 as a Latin trade publisher, publishing classical texts pertaining to medicine and science. As he progressed, he began to publish atlases and maps, compiling numerous multi-volume collections of works. His ambition to become Leiden’s most famous printer was fulfilled in 1715 with his appointment to head printer for the city and its university. One of Pieter van der Aa’s largest compilations relates to the history of Italy and Sicily, an area of immense personal interest. Though he took credit for many of his compilations, several, such as the Dutch collection of travels to the East and West Indies, were admittedly simple improvements to others’ works.

It’s also important to remark your work “Galerie Agréable du Monde” (1728), sixty-six volumes, of which only 100 copies are said to have been printed.

Here you can see the artist's works that are part of the collection.