This is a 1757 Jacques-Nicolas Bellin map of Mexico City as it appeared shortly after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán. Situated on an islet in Lake Texcoco, Tenochtitlán grew through the creation of artificial islands connected by causeways, which also connected the city with the mainland. After the Spanish conquistadors captured the city, Spanish officials razed the city and rebuilt it in a Spanish manner, with the express desire of rebuilding the city as a way of exercising their power over the native Aztecs, and Cortés and his men used the materials from the destroyed temples to build cathedrals and government buildings. Here, numerous settlements throughout the region are labeled with a large swamp occupying the upper left quadrant.
Census and Publication HistoryThis map was created by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin for publication in in Abbé Prévost's Histoire Générale des Voyages.
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. Learn More...
Very good. Even overall toning. Light wear along original fold lines. Blank on verso.