1814 (undated) 20 x 24.75 in (50.8 x 62.865 cm)
This hand-colored 1814 map by John Thomson details France the in year of Napoleon Bonaparte's defeat and subsequent imprisonment at Elba. One year later, Napoleon's escape and final defeat at Waterloo would end 22 years of almost continuous warfare (the French Revolutionary Wars from 1792-1802, and the Napoleonic Wars, 1804-1814).
The map is beautifully engraved in the minimalist English style pioneered in the early part of the 19th century. Thomson maps are known for their stunning color, awe inspiring size, and magnificent detail. Thomson's work, including this map, represents some of the finest cartographic art of the 19th century. Relief is shown by hachure with towns, cities, and major topographical features identified.
Finely engraved by Kirkwood & Son and issued as Plate 19 for Edinburgh cartographer John Thomson's 1817 issue of the New General Atlas.
John Thomson was one of the leading masters of the Edinburgh school of cartography which flourished from roughly 1800 to 1830. Thomson & his contemporaries (Pinkerton & Cary) redefined European cartography by abandoning typical 18th century decorative elements such as elaborate title cartouches and fantastic beasts in favor of detail and accuracy. Thomson's principle works include the "Thomson's New General Atlas" published from 1814 to 1827 and his "Atlas of Scotland". The "Atlas of Scotland", a work of groundbreaking detail and dedication would eventually bankrupt the Thomson firm in 1830. Today Thomson maps are becoming increasingly rare as they are highly admired for their monumental size, vivid hand coloration, and superb detail.
Thomson, J. A New General Atlas, (Edinburgh) 1814.
Very good condition. Original centerfold exhibits some light toning . Light soiling to outer margins. Original platemark visible. Blank on verso.
Rumsey 1007.022. Phillips (Atlases) 731. Newberry Library: Ayer 135 T4 1817.