Plan de la Ville de Boston et ses Environs.
1756 (undated) 6.5 x 10.5 in (16.51 x 26.67 cm)
This hand colored map is a c. 1756 map of Boston, Massachusetts. Attributed to French cartographer Jacques-Nicholas Bellin, this map was issued for the French edition of Provost's Histoire des Voyages…. Beautifully rendered in stupendous detail. Shows Boston and Charlestown as well as parts of Isle Ronde and the mainland. Important destinations identified with letters that correspond to a key to the left of the map proper. These include three cannon batteries, the Presbyterian Church, the Quaker temple, the Anabaptist Church, the City Hall, the Armory, Faneuil Hall (Spelled Fanal), etc.. Published as plate no. 10 in volume XIV of Provost's Histoire des Voyages…. Bellin would later issue a very similar version of this map in his 1764 Petit Atlas Maritime.
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, 1756, Vol XIV, plate 10. Also issued in Bellin, J. N., Le Petit Atlas Maritime. Recueil de cartes et plans des quatre parties du monde.
Near flawless. Original folds. Original pressmark visible. Blank on verso.
Boston Public Library, Leventhal Map Center, G3764.B6 1757 .P5.