1749 Vaugondy Map of Northern Portugal

Partie Septentrionale du Royaume de Portugal. Par le Sr. Robert de Vaugondy, fils de Mr. Robert Geog. Du Roi. - Main View

1749 Vaugondy Map of Northern Portugal


Map of northern Portugal depicting Porto, the second largest city in Portugal.


Partie Septentrionale du Royaume de Portugal. Par le Sr. Robert de Vaugondy, fils de Mr. Robert Geog. Du Roi.
  1749 (dated)     6.5 x 8 in (16.51 x 20.32 cm)     1 : 2000000


This is a 1749 Vaugondy map of northern Portugal. The map depicts from the Portuguese border with Galicia to Estremadura and from the Atlantic Ocean (Ocean Occidental) to the border between Portugal and the Kingdom of Leon (Royaume de Leon) in Spain. Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal behind Lisbon, is labeled on this map and is located along the Douro river estuary, which is also labeled. The historical center of Porto was named a World Heritage Site in 1996. Lamego, also depicted here, can trace its origins to before the Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. Numerous other cities and towns are labeled throughout the map, along with several rivers, including the Mondego. Forests and hills are depicted in profile.

This map was published by Gilles Robert de Vaugondy in his Atlas Universel, Portatif et Militaire in the 1749 edition.


Gilles (1688 - 1766) and Didier (c. 1723 - 1786) Robert de Vaugondy were map publishers, engravers, and cartographers active in Paris during the mid-18th century. The father and son team were the inheritors to the important Sanson cartographic firm whose stock supplied much of their initial material. Graduating from Sanson's maps, Gilles, and more particularly Didier, began to produce their own substantial corpus. Vaugondys were well-respected for the detail and accuracy of their maps, for which they capitalized on the resources of 18th-century Paris to compile the most accurate and fantasy-free maps possible. The Vaugondys compiled each map based on their own geographic knowledge, scholarly research, journals of contemporary explorers and missionaries, and direct astronomical observation - moreover, unlike many cartographers of this period, they took pains to reference their sources. Nevertheless, even in 18th-century Paris, geographical knowledge was limited - especially regarding those unexplored portions of the world, including the poles, the Pacific Northwest of America, and the interiors of Africa, Australia, and South America. In these areas, the Vaugondys, like their rivals De L'Isle and Buache, must be considered speculative or positivist geographers. Speculative geography was a genre of mapmaking that evolved in Europe, particularly Paris, in the middle to late 18th century. Cartographers in this genre would fill in unknown lands with theories based on their knowledge of cartography, personal geographical theories, and often dubious primary source material gathered by explorers. This approach, which attempted to use the known to validate the unknown, naturally engendered rivalries. Vaugondy's feuds with other cartographers, most specifically Phillipe Buache, resulted in numerous conflicting papers presented before the Academie des Sciences, of which both were members. The era of speculative cartography effectively ended with the late 18th-century explorations of Captain Cook, Jean Francois de Galaup de La Perouse, and George Vancouver. After Didier died, his maps were acquired by Jean-Baptiste Fortin, who in 1787 sold them to Charles-Fran├žois Delamarche (1740 - 1817). While Delamarche prospered from the Vaugondy maps, he defrauded Vaugondy's window Marie Louise Rosalie Dangy of her rightful inheritance and may even have killed her. More by this mapmaker...


Robert de Vaugondy, G. Atlas Portatif, Universel, et Militaire (Paris: Vaugondy, Durand, Pissot) 1749.    


Very good. Blank on verso. Original press mark visible.


Pedley, M. S., Bel et Utile, p. 186, 318.