This is a fine 1701 view of the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor and the Buen Retiro in Madrid, Spain, by Nicholas De Fer. This beautifully engraved view includes a portrait of Philip V, King of Spain, surrounded by an elaborate and beautiful cartouche. The upper left quadrant of the map includes an illustrated view of the 'Jardines del Buen Retiro' or the Gardens of Buen Retiro. A view of the Hermitage of San Anthony, located within the Buen Retiro, is featured in the top right quadrant. The Buen Retiro, a complex originally built as a second residence by Philip IV or Spain. Only part of the palace grounds remain today and it is one of the largest parks in Madrid.
An illustration of the Royal Palace is featured in the lower left quadrant of the map. In the foreground carriages and riders can be viewed. The lower right quadrant illustrates the Plaza Mayor, with scenes of bull fighting in the foreground.
This view was issued by Nicholas De Fer in his 1701 Atlas.
Nicholas de Fer (1646 - October 25, 1720) was a French cartographer and publisher, the son of cartographer Antoine de Fer. He apprenticed with the Paris engraver Louis Spirinx, producing his first map, of the Canal du Midi, at 23. When his father died in June of 1673 he took over the family engraving business and established himself on Quai de L'Horloge, Paris, as an engraver, cartographer, and map publisher. De Fer was a prolific cartographer with over 600 maps and atlases to his credit. De Fer's work, though replete with geographical errors, earned a large following because of its considerable decorative appeal. In the late 17th century, De Fer's fame culminated in his appointment as Geographe de le Dauphin, a position that offered him unprecedented access to the most up to date cartographic information. This was a partner position to another simultaneously held by the more scientific geographer Guillaume De L'Isle, Premier Geograph de Roi. Despite very different cartographic approaches, De L'Isle and De Fer seem to have stepped carefully around one another and were rarely publicly at odds. Upon his death of old age in 1720, Nicolas was succeeded by two of his sons-in-law, who also happened to be brothers, Guillaume Danet (who had married his daughter Marguerite-Geneviève De Fer), and Jacques-François Bénard (Besnard) Danet (husband of Marie-Anne De Fer), and their heirs, who continued to publish under the De Fer imprint until about 1760. It is of note that part of the De Fer legacy also passed to the engraver Remi Rircher, who married De Fer's third daughter, but Richer had little interest in the business and sold his share to the Danet brothers in 1721. More by this mapmaker...
Fer, Nicholas de, Cartes et Descriptions Generales et Particulieres pour l'intelligence des affaires du temps, au sujet de la Succession de la Couronne d'Espagne, en Europe, en Asie, Afrique, et Amerique, (Paris) 1701.
Very good. Minor wear along original centerfold. Original platemark visible. Minor dampstains in margins.