Imperium Caroli Magni Occidentis Imperatoris ad finem Saeculi Post Christum VIII.VI
1768 (undated) 17 x 23.5 in (43.18 x 59.69 cm)
1 : 6000000
This is a beautiful example of a 1768 Thomas Kitchin map of the Empire of Charlemagne. It covers Europe and the European empire of Charles the Great from Scotland south as far as Africa and from Portugal to the Black Sea in the east. The map is highly detailed, noting several towns, rivers, islands and other topographical details. A decorative title cartouche appears in the top right quadrant. After ruling and reforming France in 768, Charlemagne conquered Italy and, in 800, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor. For the next 14 years until his death, Charlemagne's empire untied much of Western and Central Europe for the first time since the collapse of the Roman Empire. The 'Carolingian Renaissance' witnessed a catholic themed revival of art, religion and culture, encouraging the formation of a common European identity. This map was issued by Thomas Kitchin in 1768.
Thomas Kitchin (August 4, 1718 – June 23, 1784) was a London based engraver, cartographer, and publisher. He was born in London to a hat-dyer of the same name. At 14, Kitchin apprenticed under Emanuel Bowen, under whom he mastered the art of engraving. He married Bowen daughter, Sarah Bowen, and later inherited much of his preceptor's prosperous business. Their son, Thomas Bowen Kitchin, also an engraver joined the family business, which thereafter published in Thomas Kitchin and Son. From 1858 or so Kitchin was the engraver to the Duke of York, and from about 1773 acquired the title, 'Royal Hydrographer to King George III.' He is responsible for numerous maps published in the The Star, Gentleman's Magazine, and London Magazine, as well as partnering with, at various times, with Thomas Jefferys, Emmanuel Bowen, Thomas Hinton, Issac Tayor, Andrew Dury, John Rocque, Louis de la Rochette, and Alexander Hogg, among others. Kitchin passed his business on to his son, Thomas Bowen Kitchin, who continued to republish many of his maps well after his death. Kitchin's apprentices included George Rollos, Bryant Lodge, Thomas Bowen Kitchin, Samuel Turner Sparrow, John Page, and Francis Vivares.
Very good. Original platemark visible. Original centerfold. Blank on verso.