|De Wit came to prominence in the mid-seventeenth century,
issuing atlases from the 1670s. After the fire at the Blaeu printing house
he bought many of the surviving plates. His outstanding work is the "Orbis
Maritimus ofte ZeeAtlas" of 1680. Each chart is decorated with a title
cartouche, which, in the best examples of the atlas, has hand colouring
of the finest quality. However he was just as willing as Moll to use these
charts for propaganda.
The charts of the coasts of two European colonial powers
have cartouches featuring the supposed National characteristics: those
of Holland and Spain. Each shows a European surrounded by natives, but
with a slightly different approach. The Dutchman has affluent-looking natives
laying trade goods at his feet, with allegorical figures suggesting that
Holland has taken over the mantle of the Romans as bringers of peace.