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L'Hydrographie ou Description de l'Eau c'est a dire des Mers, Golfes, Lacs, Destroits et Rivieres
Paris: Chez l'Auteur, 1652. Handcoloured engraved map, 400 x 545 mm. (plate size), a little rubbed at right-hand margin yet a lovely impression, framed. Stately double-hemisphere map by Nicolas Sanson, cartographer extraordinaire and geographer to Louis XIII. Sanson's principal historical importance lies in his role as a disseminator of knowledge: 'His maps, geographical tables and teaching captured the attention of persons no less eminent than Richelieu, Fouquet, the chancellor Seguier, and Cardinal Mazarin…The regard of such illustrés reveals Sanson as an important conduit of geographical knowledge to centres of power in France, which at this time was at its most important period of expansion in Canada, the West Indies, Africa, and the Near East' (Pedley, Imago Mundi 44). As a youth with a Jesuit education, Sanson displayed precocious intelligence and an unusual affinity for mapmaking. These valuable attributes attracted the attention of Cardinal Richelieu, then first minister of the king, who introduced Sanson to the inner circle of Louis XIII. So began a contradictory life of royal patronage and personal poverty. Sanson undertook significant financial and personal risk in coming to Paris and issued over 300 maps in the course of his career. His prodigious output and widespread prestige began a shift in European map production and heralded the end of the Dutch domination of the cartographic market during the seventeenth-century. In its depiction of the antipodes the map is vague and amorphous, demonstrating an indifferent treatment of the Dutch discoveries in Western Australia during the early seventeenth-century. As with so many world maps and globes of the era, the southern hemisphere is dominated by an imagined Terre Australe of vast proportions to offset the landmass of the northern hemisphere.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-08-08           Check availability:      Biblio    

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