Isle De May, Veue De L'Isle S. Jago ou St. Jacques, Le Havre de Praya dans l'Isle de St. Jago.
1750 (undated) 6.25 x 8.5 in (15.875 x 21.59 cm)
Bellin's uniquely drawn half-view, half-maps of the Portuguese held Cape Verde Islands, from Prevost's influential Histoire Des Voyages, 1750. essentially three coastal views on a single sheet. The upper left view details the Isle of May (Maio island), the lower left view details the Isle of S. Jago (Sao Tiago), and the third details Havre de Praya or the Harbor of Sao Tiago (Today's Praia, capital of the Cape Verde Islands). The prominent fort of Saint Philippe is noted. The Cape Verde Islands were important both for the trans-Atlantic trade, for which they were an important supply point, and for the African Slave trade, for which they served the same function.
Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703 - 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, Vol. II, plate 11.
Very good. Original platemark visible. Blank on verso.