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1763 De L'Isle Map of the Holy Land (Israel, Palestine)


Terrae Sanctae Tabula e Scripturae Sacrae, Flavii Josephi, Eusebii et Divi Heironymi
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Title:    Terrae Sanctae Tabula e Scripturae Sacrae, Flavii Josephi, Eusebii et Divi Heironymi

Description:    A beautiful example of Guillaume and Joseph De L'Isle's 1762 decorative map of the Holy Land, including Israel and Palestine. In two sheets, covers the region from Gaza and the Dead Sea north to Sidon (modern Lebanon) and Damascus. This map includes the modern day countries of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. It names countless biblical locations including the lands claimed by the Tribes of Israel. We can also find the locations of several of the Old Testament's more mysterious cities including Sodom and Gomorra. An elaborate title cartouche in the upper left hadn quadrant features the Tables of Moses, a sensor, and other religious artifacts. Drawn by Guillaume and Joseph De L'Isle for issue as plate nos. 40-41 in Jean Lattre's 1776 issue of the Atlas Moderne.

Date:    1762 (dated)

Source:    Lattre, Jean, Atlas Moderne ou Collection de Cartes sur Toutes les Parties du Globe Terrestre, c. 1775.

References:    Laor, E., Maps of the Holy Land: Cartobibliography of Printed Maps, 1475 - 1900, 244. Rumsey 2612.081, 2612.082, 2612.083. Phillips (Atlases) 664. National Maritime Museum, 215. British Libarary (World), col. 384-385 (1762-1785 eds.).

Cartographer:    The De L'Isle family (fl. c. 1700 - c. 1760) (also written Delisle) were, in composite, a mapmaking tour de force who redefined early 18th century European cartography. Claude De L'Isle (1644 -1720), the family patriarch, was Paris based a historian and geographer under Nicholas Sanson. De L'Isle and his sons were proponents of the school of "positive geography" and were definitive figures, defining the heights of the Golden Age of French Cartography. Of his twelve sons, four, Guillaume (1675- 1726), Simon Claude (1675 - 1726), Joseph Nicholas (1688 - 1768) and Louis (1720 - 1745), made a significant contributions to cartography. Without a doubt Guillaume was the most remarkable member of the family. It is said that Guillaume's skill as a cartographer was so prodigious that he drew his first map at just nine years of age. He was tutored by J. D. Cassini in astronomy, science, mathematics and cartography. By applying these diverse disciplines to the vast stores of information provided by 18th century navigators, Guillaume created the technique that came to be known as "scientific cartography", essentially an extension of Sanson's "positive geography". This revolutionary approach transformed the field of cartography and created a more accurate picture of the world. Among Guillaume's many firsts are the first naming of Texas, the first correct map of the Mississippi, the final rejection of the insular California fallacy, and the first identification of the correct longitudes of America. Stylistically De L'Isle also initiated important changes to the medium, eschewing the flamboyant Dutch style of the previous century in favor of a highly detailed yet still decorative approach that yielded map both beautiful and informative. Guillaume was elected to the French Academie Royale des Sciences at 27. Later, in 1718, he was also appointed "Premier Geographe du Roi", an office created especially for him. De L'Isle personally financed the publication of most of his maps, hoping to make heavy royalties on their sales. Unfortunately he met an untimely death in 1728, leaving considerable debt and an impoverished child and widow. De L'Isle's publishing firm was taken over by his assistant, Phillipe Buache who became, posthumously, his son in law. The other De L'Isle brothers, Joseph Nicholas and Louis De L'Isle, were employed in the Service of Peter the Great of Russia as astronomers and surveyors. They are responsible for cataloguing and compiling the data obtained from Russian expeditions in the Pacific and along the northwest coast of America, including the seminal explorations of Vitus Bering and Aleksei Chirikov. The De L'Isles, like their rivals the Vaugondys , must be considered speculative geographers. Speculative geography was a genre of mapmaking that evolved in Europe, particularly Paris, in the middle to late 18th century. Cartographers in this genre would fill in unknown areas on their maps with speculations based upon their vast knowledge of cartography, personal geographical theories, and often dubious primary source material gathered by explorers and navigators. This approach, which attempted to use the known to validate the unknown, naturally engendered many rivalries. The era of speculatively cartography effectively ended with the late 18th century explorations of Captain Cook, Jean Francois de Galaup de La Perouse, and George Vancouver. Click here for a list of maps by the De L'Isle (Delisle) family.

Cartographer:    Jean Lattre (fl. 1743 - 1793) was a Paris based bookseller, engraver, and map publisher active in the mid to late 18th century. Lattre published a large corpus of maps, globes, and atlases in conjunction with a number of other important French cartographic figures, including Janvier, Zannoni, Bonne and Delamarche. He is also known to have worked with other European cartographers such as William Faden of London and the Italian cartographer Santini. Map piracy and copyright violations were common in 18th century France. Paris court records indicate that Lattre brought charges against several other period map publishers, including fellow Frenchman Desnos and the Italian map engraver Zannoni, both of whom he accused of copying his work. Lattre's offices and bookshop were located at 20 rue St. Jaques, Paris, France. Click here for a list of rare maps by Jean Lattre.

Size:   Printed area measures 20 x 28 inches (50.8 x 71.12 centimeters)

Condition:    Very good condition. On two sheets. Both sheets exhibit original centerfold with light toning. Blank on verso.

Code:   TerraeSanctae-delisle-1763 (to order by phone call: 646-320-8650)


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