1760 Grimmel / Seutter Map of Lake Ladoga, Gulf of Finland, St. Petersburg

Ладожское озеро [Lake Ladoga], Conspectus recens et accuratus magnae partis Lacus Ladogae et Sinus Finnici. - Main View

1760 Grimmel / Seutter Map of Lake Ladoga, Gulf of Finland, St. Petersburg


The early days of St. Petersburg.


Ладожское озеро [Lake Ladoga], Conspectus recens et accuratus magnae partis Lacus Ladogae et Sinus Finnici.
  1760 (undated)     20 x 23 in (50.8 x 58.42 cm)     1 : 200000


A scarce c. 1760 Russian-language map of Lake Ladoga, St. Petersburg, and environs, produced by Johann Elias Grimmel, based on an original published by Matthäus Seutter. It depicts the region as St. Petersburg was growing considerably and attracting intellectuals from throughout Europe, including Grimmel.
A Closer Look
Coverage includes the Gulf of Finland, Lake Ladoga, the Neva River, and the area around St. Petersburg, and the sparsely populated forests and swamplands to their south. The Volkhov River, flowing into Lake Ladoga, runs up the right side of the map. The regions of Karelia, Ingermanland (Ingria), and Novogorod are labelled, though the latter's namesake city (now Veliky Novgorod) lies just to the south beyond the scope of this map.

Rivers, roads (including the all-important road to Moscow), towns, fortresses, forests, farmlands, churches, and more are indicated throughout. Color-coding is used to distinguish settlements from farmland and forests. Placenames are given in the Cyrillic and Latin alphabet, with the latter being transliterations in the German or Polish style, and some being translations into Latin.

This area, much of which had been part of the Republic of Novgorod or, more recently, Sweden, was undergoing dramatic changes at this time. Having captured these lands, Peter the Great aimed to build a grand new capital on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, a process that began in 1703. Battling a harsh climate and adverse terrain, thousands of conscripted serf laborers crafted the city out of swampland over decades, with many dying in the process. Peter pressured and cajoled the nobility to relocate from Moscow to St. Petersburg, while also recruiting intellectuals and technical advisers from throughout Europe, especially the German lands. In the end, the new city helped Peter consolidate power and opened up a major avenue for exchange between Europe and Russia, drastically altering the course of Russian history.
Publication History and Census
Using Seutter's map (of the title indicated in the cartouche, 'Conspectus recens et accuratus magnae partis Lacus Ladogae…') as a basis, Johann Elias Grimmel led a team from the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences in translating and making slight alterations to the original (Grimmel led similar projects for other foreign-produced maps of key areas of Russia). Dates of both Seutter's original and the Russian edition vary; the Russian National Library dates the compilation of the Russian edition to 1741 - 1742, while some catalog listings range into the 1760s. At least one other printing of the Russian edition exists, with a different and somewhat less elaborate cartouche, which includes Grimmel's name. The only known institutional holdings of the Russian edition, regardless of cartouche and signature, are with Yale University, the University of Edinburgh, University College London, the Universitätsbibliothek Bern, the Universitäts-und Landesbibliothek Darmstadt, the National Library of Finland, and the Russian National Library.


Johann Elias Grimmel (Иоганн Элиас Гриммель; 1703 - 1759) was a Bavarian-born artist and draughtsman who spent most of his career in St. Peterburg. After training in Vienna, he was invited by Jacob von Stäehlin (Я́коб Ште́лин; 1709 - 1785), an engraver and cartographer also from Bavaria, to work in St Petersburg. Stäehlin had been deeply involved with the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (Петербургская академия наук) in its early years and helped Grimmel fill the seat vacated by the Italian artist Bartolomeo Tarsia (Бартоломео Та́рсия; 1690 - 1765) in the Academy's Drawing Chamber (Рисовальной палате). Grimmel continued to work with Stäehlin, producing works in several media, and trained Russian artists, including mosaicists Matvei Vasilievich Vasiliev (Матвей Васильевич Васильев ; 1731 - 1782) and Efim Tikhonovich Melnikov (Ефим Тихонович Мельников; 1734 - 1767). More by this mapmaker...

Matthäus Seutter (1678 - 1757) was one of the most important and prolific German map publishers of the 18th century. Seutter was born the son of a goldsmith but apprenticed as a brewer. Apparently uninspired by the beer business, Seutter abandoned his apprenticeship and moved to Nuremberg where he apprenticed as an engraver under the tutelage of the prominent J. B. Homann. Sometime in the early 1700s Seutter left Homann to return to Augsburg, where he worked for the prominent art publisher Jeremiad Wolff (1663 - 1724), for whom he engraved maps and other prints. Sometime around 1717 he established his own independent cartographic publishing firm in Augsburg. Though he struggled in the early years of his independence, Seutter's engraving skill and commitment to diversified map production eventually attracted a substantial following. Most of Seutter's maps are heavily based upon, if not copies of, earlier work done by the Homann and De L'Isle firms. Nonetheless, by 1731/32 Seutter was one of the most prolific publishers of his time and was honored by the German Emperor Karl VI who gave him the title of Imperial Geographer, after which most subsequent maps included the Avec Privilege designation. Seutter continued to publish until his death, at the height of his career, in 1757. Seutter had two engraver sons, Georg Matthäus Seutter (1710 - 173?) and Albrecht Carl Seutter (1722 - 1762). Georg Matthäus quit the business and relocated to Woehrdt in 1729 (and probably died shortly thereafter), leaving the family inheritance to his wastrel brother Albrecht Carl Seutter, who did little to advance the firm until in own death in 1762. Following Albrecht's death, the firm was divided between the established Johann Michael Probst (1727 - 1776) firm and the emerging firm of Tobias Conrad Lotter. Lotter, Matthäus Seutter's son-in-law, was a master engraver and worked tirelessly on behalf of the Suetter firm. It is Lotter, who would eventually become one of the most prominent cartographers of his day, and his descendants, who are generally regarded as the true successors to Matthäus Seutter. (Ritter, M. Seutter, Probst and Lotter: An Eighteenth-Century Map Publishing House in Germany., "Imago Mundi", Vol. 53, (2001), pp. 130-135.) Learn More...


Very good. Printer creases in top and bottom margins.


OCLC 54583247, 1293733566, 605167651.