Les Cyclades Pour le Voyage du Jeune Anacharsis.
1791 (undated) 8 x 8 in (20.32 x 20.32 cm)
This is a fascinating 1791 map of the Cyclades, the island group in the Aegean Sea, in Ancient Greece. The map covers Andros to Anafe. An inset in the upper right quadrant of the map details the island of Delos. According to Greek mythology the island is the birth place of Apollo and Artemis. Prepared by M. Barbie de Bocage in 1791 to illustrate the Travels of Anacharsis.
Anacharsis was a Scythian philosopher who travelled from his homeland on the northern shores of the Black Sea to Athens in the early 6th century BCe. Apparently he made a great impression on the Greeks, who considered him a forthright, outspoken 'barbarian. He is considered a forerunner of the Cynics.
Jean Denis Barbie du Bocage (1760 - 1825) and his son Jean-Guillaume Barbie du Bocage (1795 - 1848) were French cartographers and cosmographers active in Paris during late 18th and early 19th centuries. The elder Barbie du Bocage, Jean Denis, was trained as a cartographer and engraver in the workshops of mapmaking legend J. B. B. d'Anville. At some point Jean Denis held the post of Royal Librarian of France and it was through is associations with d'Anville that the d'Anville collection of nearly 9000 maps was acquired by French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The younger Barbie du Bocage, Jean-Guillaume, acquired a position shortly afterwards at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, in time, became its head, with the title of Geographe du Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres.
Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville (1697-1782) was perhaps the most important and prolific cartographer of the 18th century. D'Anville's passion for cartography manifested during his school years when he amused himself by composing maps for Latin texts. There is a preserved manuscript dating to 1712, Graecia Vetus, which may be his earliest surviving map - he was only 15 when he drew it. He would retain an interest in the cartography of antiquity throughout his long career and published numerous atlases to focusing on the ancient world. At twenty-two D'Anville, sponsored by the Duke of Orleans, was appointed Geographer to the King of France. As both a cartographer and a geographer, he instituted a reform in the general practice of cartography. Unlike most period cartographers, D'Anville did not rely exclusively on earlier maps to inform his work, rather he based his maps on intense study and research. His maps were thus the most accurate and comprehensive of his period - truly the first modern maps. Thomas Basset and Philip Porter write: "It was because of D'Anville's resolve to depict only those features which could be proven to be true that his maps are often said to represent a scientific reformation in cartography." (The Journal of African History, Vol. 32, No. 3 (1991), pp. 367-413). In 1754, when D'Anville turned 57 and had reached the height of his career, he was elected to the Academie des Inscriptions. Later, at 76, following the death of Philippe Buache, D'Anville was appointed to both of the coveted positions Buache held: Premier Geographe du Roi, and Adjoint-Geographer of the Academie des Sciences. During his long career D'Anville published some 211 maps as well as 78 treatises on geography. D'Anville's vast reference library, consisting of over 9000 volumes, was acquired by the French government in 1779 and became the basis of the Depot Geographique - though D'Anville retained physical possession his death in 1782. Remarkably almost all of D'Anville's maps were produced by his own hand. His published maps, most of which were engraved by Guillaume de la Haye, are known to be near exact reproductions of D'Anville' manuscripts. The borders as well as the decorative cartouche work present on many of his maps were produced by his brother Hubert-Francois Bourguignon Gravelot. The work of D'Anville thus marked a transitional point in the history of cartography and opened the way to the maps of English cartographers Cary, Thomson and Pinkerton in the early 19th century.
Barbie du Bocage, J. D., Recueil de Cartes Geographiques Plans, Vues, et Medailles de l'Ancienne Grece, Reelatifs au Voyage du Jeune Anacharsis., (Paris, Chez Sanson et Compagnie), 1791.
Very good. Original platemark visible. Blank on verso. Dark clean impression.