Carte du Paraguay et partie des Pays adjacants.
1771 (dated) 17 x 13 in (43.18 x 33.02 cm)
A beautiful example of Rigobert Bonne's decorative map of Paraguay. Covers from the Rio de la Plata north well into Brazil and the Amazon, extends westward as far as Cordova, and eastward to San Salvador, Brazil. Includes the modern day nations of Uruguay, Paraguay, and parts of adjacent Brazil and Argentina. Offers excellent detail throughout showing mountains, rivers, national boundaries, cities, regions, and tribes. Identifies Buenos Aires, Rio de Janiero, and numerous other important South American cities.
Perhaps it most interesting element, this map offers a classic representation of the apocryphal Lake of Xarayes at the northern terminus of the Paraguay River. 'Xarayes' is a corruption of 'Xaraiés' meaning 'Masters of the River.' The Xaraiés were an indigenous people occupying what are today parts of Brazil's Matte Grosso and the Pantanal. When Spanish and Portuguese explorers first navigated up the Paraguay River, as always in search of El Dorado, they encountered the vast Pantanal flood plain at the height of its annual inundation. Understandably misinterpreting the flood plain as a gigantic inland sea, they named it after the local inhabitants, the Xaraies. The Laguna de los Xarayes almost immediately began to appear on early maps of the region and, at the same time, almost immediately took on a legendary aspect as the gateway to El Dorado.
A large decorative title cartouche appears in the lower right quadrant. Drawn by R. Bonne in 1771 for issue as plate no. C 34 in Jean Lattre's 1776 issue of the Atlas Moderne
Rigobert Bonne (1727-1795 ) was one of the most important cartographers of the late 18th century. In 1773 he succeeded Jacques Bellin as Royal Cartographer to France in the office of the Hydrographer at the Depôt de la Marine. Working in his official capacity Bonne compiled some of the most detailed and accurate maps of the period. Bonne's work represents an important step in the evolution of the cartographic ideology away from the decorative work of the 17th and early 18th century towards a more detail oriented and practical aesthetic. With regard to the rendering of terrain Bonne maps bear many stylistic similarities to those of his predecessor, Bellin. However, Bonne maps generally abandon such common 18th century decorative features such as hand coloring, elaborate decorative cartouches, and compass roses. While mostly focusing on coastal regions, the work of Bonne is highly regarded for its detail, historical importance, and overall aesthetic appeal.
Jean Lattre (fl. 1743 - 1793) was a Paris based bookseller, engraver, and map publisher active in the mid to late 18th century. Lattre published a large corpus of maps, globes, and atlases in conjunction with a number of other important French cartographic figures, including Janvier, Zannoni, Bonne and Delamarche. He is also known to have worked with other European cartographers such as William Faden of London and the Italian cartographer Santini. Map piracy and copyright violations were common in 18th century France. Paris court records indicate that Lattre brought charges against several other period map publishers, including fellow Frenchman Desnos and the Italian map engraver Zannoni, both of whom he accused of copying his work. Lattre's offices and bookshop were located at 20 rue St. Jaques, Paris, France.
Lattre, Jean, Atlas Moderne ou Collection de Cartes sur Toutes les Parties du Globe Terrestre, c. 1775.
Very good condition. Original centerfold exhibits minor toning. Blank on verso.
Rumsey 2612.079. Phillips (Atlases) 664. National Maritime Museum, 215.