Vincenzo Coronelli (1650-1718) was an Italian friar, cartographer, and cosmographer, best known for his work on atlases and globes. Born in Venice, Coronelli was sent to the city of Ravenna at the young age of 10 to be the apprentice of a printmaker. Just three years later, he joined the Conventual Franciscans and became a novice. At just 16 years old, he published his first written work (he would go on to publish nearly 140 pieces). Coronelli moved briefly back to Venice, and then to Rome, where he earned his doctorate degree in theology from the college of Saint Bonaventura and Saints Apostoli. While there, he also studied astronomy and math. Around 1678, he began working as a geographer and was commissioned by the Duke of Parma to make a set of terrestrial and celestial globes. The duke was so impressed that he made Coronelli his personal theologian. He grew in stature in the Franciscan community, and in 1699, he was appointed Father General of the Franciscan order.
Coronelli was also invited to Paris to construct globes for King Louis XIV. He lived there for two years while working for the French king, and the globes are on display today at the Bibliothèque nationale François Mitterrand in Paris. In his later years, Coronelli settled in his native Venice, where he published his own work on the cosmos and stars. He founded the world’s very first geographical society, the “Accademia Cosmografica degli Argonauti,” and was appointed the cosmographer of the Republic of Venice. He later published a massive encyclopedia, among other works. He created hundreds of maps in his lifetime, and is still remembered today for his work on creating numerous, detailed, and beautiful globes throughout Europe.