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1750 Bellin Map and View of Mauritius

Ile Maurice Nommee Depuis Ile De France. - Main View

1750 Bellin Map and View of Mauritius



Ile Maurice Nommee Depuis Ile De France.
  1750 (undated)     8 x 9 in (20.32 x 22.86 cm)


Bellin's interesting hand-colored, combined chart and view (replete with wispy clouds) of the harbor of the Ile Maurice, or Mauritius, from Prevost's influential Histoire Des Voyages, 1750. essentially a nautical view, this map details Mauritius following France's takeover of the island from the Dutch in 1715. The French renamed it Ile de France and, under French rule, it developed a prosperous economy based on sugar production. Mauritius was seized by the British Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars and became an independent country in 1968. Today most know Mauritius as a stunning island paradise with sparkling clear blue waters and sunny white beaches.


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. More by this mapmaker...


Provost, A., L`Histoire Generale des Voyages, c. 1750, Vol. 8, plate 11.    


Very good. Original folds. Original platemark visible. Blank on verso.