Highly detailed large format map of the Southern Hemisphere, showing the tracks of the major voyages of exploration in the Southern Hemisphere from 1595 to 1775.
The map was prepared to illustrate the French edition of Cook's report of his voyages in the region. The map includes the coastlines of Australia, New Zealand and part of SE Asia, Africa and South America. The primary feature of the map is the remarkably detailed depiction of the various voyages in the Southern Hemisphere, including the voyages of Mendana (1595), Quiros (1606), Le Maire and Schoeten (1616), Tasman (1642), Halley (1700), Roggewein (1722), Bouvet (1738-39), Carteret (1767), Wallis (1767), Byron (1768), Bouganville (1768) Cook (1770-75), and others.
In addition to the map is a detailed set of tables of Latitudes and Discoveries, covering approximately 60 islands, bays, and other locales.
Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772) was among the most important mapmakers of the eighteenth century. In 1721, at age 18, he was appointed hydrographer (chief cartographer) to the French Navy. In August 1741, he became the first Ingénieur de la Marine of the Depot des cartes et plans de la Marine (the French Hydrographic Office) and was named Official Hydrographer of the French King.
During his term as Official Hydrographer, the Depot was the single most active center for the production of sea charts and maps, including a large folio format sea-chart of France, the Neptune Francois. He also produced a number of sea-atlases of the world, e.g., the Atlas Maritime and the Hydrographie Francaise. These gained fame, distinction, and respect all over Europe and were republished throughout the 18th and even in the succeeding century.
Bellin also came out with smaller format maps such as the 1764 Petit Atlas Maritime, containing 580 finely detailed charts. He also contributed many of the maps for Bellin and contributed a number of maps to the 15-volume Histoire Generale des Voyages of Antoine François Prévost or simply known l'Abbe Prevost.
Bellin set a very high standard of workmanship and accuracy, thus gaining for France a leading role in European cartography and geography. Many of his maps were copied by other mapmakers of Europe.