1739 Bretez Turgot View and Map of Paris, France (c. 1900 Taride issue)

Plan de Paris. - Main View

1739 Bretez Turgot View and Map of Paris, France (c. 1900 Taride issue)


Magnificent, iconic, and highly detailed twenty sheet wall map of Paris, France.


Plan de Paris.
  1900 (undated)     86 x 106 in (218.44 x 269.24 cm)     1 : 400


This is the c. 1900 Taride edition of Louis Bretez and Michel-Etienne Turgot's monumental 1739 map of Paris. Turgot's map of Paris is possibly the most ambitious urban mapping ever undertaken. This map shows the whole of 18th century Paris and offers an expansive perspective on the city before Baron Georges Eugène Haussmann's 19th-century redesign. Turgot, who held the mayor-like office of Prevôt des Marchands de Paris , commissioned Louis Bretez and Claude Lucas to produce this map. Oriented to the east on an axonometric projection, this map is best understood as an aerial view where in every building, window, tree, shadow, and park are shown from an equidistant aerial perspective. In order to produce the thousands of sketches and surveys required to complete this map, Bretez was issued a permit to enter every building in Paris. It took the team nearly five years of exhaustive sketching and surveying to assemble this masterpiece.
A Monumental Achievement
With unprecedented access to the properties of Paris and an official mandate, Bretez achieved outstanding detail and accuracy. The buildings of Paris are presented as one would have seen them at the time. The Louvre, the Tuileries Garden, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Champs Élysées can all be easily recognized. The Bastille, the flashpoint of the French Revolution which would start 58 years later, is depicted as well.
Publication History
The Turgot map, as it is commonly known, was first issued in 1734. It consisted of twenty individual sheets that can be assembled into a massive and striking display roughly 8 feet high by 10 feet wide. The present example is a lithographic reissue published by Alphonse Taride c. 1900. Like the 1734 copper plate engraving, Taride's reissue is presented as a loose-leave folio, wherein the individual sheets can be removed and assembled, or enjoyed as a volume. This is the finest example, of the Taride edition of the Turgot Plan we have ever seen.


Louis Bretez (fl. 1700 - 1740) was French born sculptor and painter active in the early 18th century. Bretez was a member of the Academie Royale de Peinture et Sculpture in Paris where he specialized in perspective with regard to architecture. Bretez's greatest achievement was his production, with Claude Lucas, of the monumental Turgot Plan of Paris. This spectacular map, one of history's greatest achievements of urban cartography, occupied Bretez from 1734 to 1739. It depicts Paris from a bird's eye perspective with extraordinary detail to the level of individual buildings and trees. Learn More...

Michel-Étienne Turgot (1690-1751) a French businessman and civil administrator in the first half of the 18th century. From 1729 to 1740 he held the mayor-like office of Prévôt des Marchands de Paris ("Master of the merchants of Paris") under King Louis XV. Turgot's greatest claim to fame is his commissioning of Louis Bretez to assemble the spectacular Turgot Plan of Paris, one of the greatest feats of urban cartography ever undertaken. Turgot's more famous son, Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot, attained prominence as a statesman and economist under Louis the XVI. Learn More...

Alphonse Taride (fl. c. 1850 - 1918) was a prolific Paris based publisher active in the late 19th and early 20th century. Publishing as "A. Taride", the firm produced a large corpus of work including numerous maps, tourist guides, histories, and pocket plans of different parts of France. With the advent of the automobile and improved roadways in the early 20th century, the name "Taride" became synonymous with high quality roadmaps. Taride had his offices at 18 - 20 Boulevard St. Denis, Paris. Learn More...


Very good. The finest example by far of this edition of the Turgot Plan that we have ever seen. All sheets have ample margins which can be trimmed for tight framing.


OCLC 50427588.