A beautiful example of Bellin's c. 1750 map of the Kuril Islands. The Kuril Islands or Kurile Islands are a volcanic archipelago that stretches approximately 1,300 km (810 mi) northeast from Hokkaido, Japan, to Kamchatka, Russia, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean. Traditionally the Kuriles are part of Japan however have been under Russian control since World War II. Today there is an ongoing dispute between Japan and Russia over which country has jurisdiction over the southernmost four islands in the Kuril archipelago. Cartographically this map is based on a larger map of Russia composed by Laurent several years previous. Prepared by J. Bellin for Abbe Provost's L`Histoire Generale des Voyages.
Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703 - March 21, 1772) was one of the most important cartographers of the 18th century. With a career spanning some 50 years, Bellin is best understood as geographe de cabinet and transitional mapmaker spanning the gap between 18th and early-19th century cartographic styles. His long career as Hydrographer and Ingénieur Hydrographe at the French Dépôt des cartes et plans de la Marine resulted in hundreds of high quality nautical charts of practically everywhere in the world. A true child of the Enlightenment Era, Bellin's work focuses on function and accuracy tending in the process to be less decorative than the earlier 17th and 18th century cartographic work. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Bellin was always careful to cite his references and his scholarly corpus consists of over 1400 articles on geography prepared for Diderot's Encyclopedie. Bellin, despite his extraordinary success, may not have enjoyed his work, which is described as "long, unpleasant, and hard." In addition to numerous maps and charts published during his lifetime, many of Bellin's maps were updated (or not) and published posthumously. He was succeeded as Ingénieur Hydrographe by his student, also a prolific and influential cartographer, Rigobert Bonne.
Provost, A., L`Histoire Generale des Voyages, c. 1750.
Very good. Original fold lines. Else clean.
Yale University, SML, Map Collection, Locked, Room 707 , Cross 5691 1580.