Plan de Paris.
1739 (original issue) / c. 1900 Taride Issue
86 x 106 in (218.44 x 269.24 cm)
1 : 1800
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 a wonderful 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 in 1734. 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. It took the team nearly five years of exhaustive sketching and surveying to assemble this masterpiece. 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.
A Monumental AchievementGiven this unique circumstance, this map is truly monumental. The detail is truly astounding. The buildings of Paris are presented as one would have seen them. The Louvre, the Tuileries Garden, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Champs Élysées (Champs Elizzées) can all be found. The Bastille, the flashpoint of the French Revolution which would start 58 years later, is depicted here as well.
Publication HistoryThe completed map, which consists of twenty individual sheets, can be assembled into a massive and striking display roughly 8 feet high by 10 feet wide. Twenty loose sheets wrapped in a cardboard folio, this is Alphonse Taride's c. 1900 issue of Bretez's Plan de Paris.
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.
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.
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.
Fine. This is, it is noteworthy, 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.
Hodgkiss, A. G., Discovering Antique Maps, p. 77.