This item has been sold, but you can get on the Waitlist to be notified if another example becomes available, or purchase a digital scan.

1716 Delisle Map of Paris, France

Plan de la Ville et Fauxbourgs de Paris. - Main View

1716 Delisle Map of Paris, France


Gorgeous separately issued city map plan of Paris which labels Le Marais.


Plan de la Ville et Fauxbourgs de Paris.
  1716 (dated)     20 x 26 in (50.8 x 66.04 cm)     1 : 10820


This is a separately issued 1716 Guillaume Delisle city map of Paris, France. This map depicts the city of Paris and its surroundings in the early 18th century. Paris proper stretches from the Tuileries gardens and the Louvre along the Seine (Seyne) to the contemporary location of the Jardin des Plantes, which is depicted on the map (although much smaller than the contemporary garden) and labeled as the 'Jardin du Roy' (the King's Garden). The northern reaches of Paris on this map appear to end near the community of Montmartre, which would not be annexed by Paris un 1860, when it would become the 18th arrondissement, or district, of Paris. The southern border of Paris was the northern half of the modern day 5th arrondissement and stopped short of the Luxembourg palace and the community of St. Michel, which is now a famous neighborhood in Paris.

Several recognizable locations from modern Paris are included on this map, including Notre Dame cathedral, the Palais Royale, the Place des Victoires, the Place Royale (Place de Vosges) and the Sorbonne. Le Marais, one of the most famous districts in Paris, is labeled. Le Marais has transformed over the history of Paris. During the 17th century, Le Marais was the preferred area of Paris for the French nobility to take us residence. Some of their residences, essentially urban mansions (hôtels particuliers in French), such as the Hôtel de Soubise and the Hôtel Carnavalet, are labeled on this map. By the 18th century, however, the area had been mostly abandoned by the nobility, leaving only minor nobles residing in the area. Following the French Revolution, the district was completely abandoned by the aristocracy, and became an active commercial area, hosting one of the largest Jewish communities in Paris. Also, the area around the Sorbonne is called 'Université' (University). Within the city proper, the detail is incredible. All the roads are labeled, as well as the churches, monasteries, and abbeys. Outside the Paris city walls, in the 'suburbs,' there are also several recognizable locations, including the Rue du Faubourg du Temple, Les Invalides, the Luxembourg palace, and of course les Champs Elisées, which is where the modern-day boulevard and the Arc de Triomphe are located. All the 'suburbs' (fauxbourgs) on this map have since been annexed by Paris and the names persist, because those neighborhoods are still known by the names on this map, even if they are a part of Paris itself.

The map is surrounded by a 'Table alphabetique des rues de la Ville et Fauxbourgs de Paris' and gives the grid location of each of the rods in Paris, in alphabetical order. This inclusion means that this map was not only meant to be attractive, but practically used. This map also includes, underneath the title, the addition of the phrase 'Ier geog(raphe) du Roy', denoting that Delisle was the official royal geographer. Deslisle did not earn this title until 1718, which means that example of this map is likely a second edition, dating from 1720.

This map was published by Guillaume Delisle in 1720 from his workshop on the Quai de l'Horloge in Paris. It was engraved by Desrosiers. This map is separately issued and was not uniformly bound into any atlases leading to it being quite rare today.


The De L'Isle family (fl. c. 1700 - c. 1760) (also written Delisle) were, in composite, a mapmaking tour de force who redefined early 18th century European cartography. Claude De L'Isle (1644 -1720), the family patriarch, was Paris based a historian and geographer under Nicholas Sanson. De L'Isle and his sons were proponents of the school of "positive geography" and were definitive figures, defining the heights of the Golden Age of French Cartography. Of his twelve sons, four, Guillaume (1675 - 1726), Simon Claude (1675 - 1726), Joseph Nicholas (1688 - 1768) and Louis (1720 - 1745), made a significant contributions to cartography. Without a doubt Guillaume was the most remarkable member of the family. It is said that Guillaume's skill as a cartographer was so prodigious that he drew his first map at just nine years of age. He was tutored by J. D. Cassini in astronomy, science, mathematics and cartography. By applying these diverse disciplines to the vast stores of information provided by 18th century navigators, Guillaume created the technique that came to be known as "scientific cartography", essentially an extension of Sanson's "positive geography". This revolutionary approach transformed the field of cartography and created a more accurate picture of the world. Among Guillaume's many firsts are the first naming of Texas, the first correct map of the Mississippi, the final rejection of the insular California fallacy, and the first identification of the correct longitudes of America. Stylistically De L'Isle also initiated important changes to the medium, eschewing the flamboyant Dutch style of the previous century in favor of a highly detailed yet still decorative approach that yielded map both beautiful and informative. Guillaume was elected to the French Academie Royale des Sciences at 27. Later, in 1718, he was also appointed "Premier Geographe du Roi", an office created especially for him. De L'Isle personally financed the publication of most of his maps, hoping to make heavy royalties on their sales. Unfortunately he met an untimely death in 1728, leaving considerable debt and an impoverished child and widow. De L'Isle's publishing firm was taken over by his assistant, Phillipe Buache who became, posthumously, his son in law. The other De L'Isle brothers, Joseph Nicholas and Louis De L'Isle, were employed in the Service of Peter the Great of Russia as astronomers and surveyors. They are responsible for cataloguing and compiling the data obtained from Russian expeditions in the Pacific and along the northwest coast of America, including the seminal explorations of Vitus Bering and Aleksei Chirikov. The De L'Isles, like their rivals the Vaugondys , must be considered speculative geographers. Speculative geography was a genre of mapmaking that evolved in Europe, particularly Paris, in the middle to late 18th century. Cartographers in this genre would fill in unknown areas on their maps with speculations based upon their vast knowledge of cartography, personal geographical theories, and often dubious primary source material gathered by explorers and navigators. This approach, which attempted to use the known to validate the unknown, naturally engendered many rivalries. The era of speculatively cartography effectively ended with the late 18th century explorations of Captain Cook, Jean Francois de Galaup de La Perouse, and George Vancouver. More by this mapmaker...


Very good. Blank on verso.


Rumsey 4764.018. OCLC 761263200.