Guillaume Le Testu and his Work
The 56 richly-illuminated charts of an atlas held at the Library of the Ministère de la Guerre were created in 1556 by French pilot and explorer Guillaume Le Testu. Among the many illustrations that ornament the maps are representations of 72 ships. These comprise a number of round ships (including galleons), plus merchantmen, caravels, galleys and small local craft. In the illustrations, seventeen of which are represented in this article as line drawings, ships are depicted in various situations (fishing, shipwreck and battle), and carry the flags of a number of different countries.