Important regional map of North America, being the first large scale map to depict California and the Southwest.
Sanson's printed map is the earliest to concentrate on Spanish territories from Florida to California and provided a protype for other mapmakers over the next 50 years. Engraved by Jean Somer, it improves upon Sanson's Amerique Septentrionale of 1650 in many ways. Amongst them is the first application of ERIE LAC to a recognizable lake. The depiction of California as an island was one of two most influential models (the other being the Briggs model), and was used as a model by many later cartographers.
First published separately, the map appeared in Sanson's atlases and later in composite atlases for the next 70 years.. The Pierre Mariette named in the title is the son of Nicolas Sanson's business partner of the same name who capitalized the business but died in 1657.
The map is the first to introduce the two bays at the top of California, which influenced California as an Island Cartography for the next 50 years. The Northwest Coastline is substantially revised from Sanson's map of North America. The Rio Grande, still mistakenly flowing southwest, includes many new Indian Names not present in the map of North America. The Curious peninsula at the top of the Northwest Coast of the mainland (Agubela De Cato) is of unknown origin.
Nicholas Sanson (1600-1667) is considered the father of French cartography in its golden age from the mid-seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth. Over the course of his career he produced over 300 maps; they are known for their clean style and extensive research. Sanson was largely responsible for beginning the shift of cartographic production and excellence from Amsterdam to Paris in the later-seventeenth century.
Sanson was born in Abbeville in Picardy. He made his first map at age twenty, a wall map of ancient Gaul. Upon moving to Paris, he gained the attention of Cardinal Richelieu, who made an introduction of Sanson to King Louis XIII. This led to Sanson's tutoring of the king and the granting of the title ingenieur-geographe du roi.
His success can be chalked up to his geographic and research skills, but also to his partnership with Pierre Mariette. Early in his career, Sanson worked primarily with the publisher Melchior Tavernier. Mariette purchased Tavernier’s business in 1644. Sanson worked with Mariette until 1657, when the latter died. Mariette’s son, also Pierre, helped to publish the Cartes générales de toutes les parties du monde (1658), Sanson' atlas and the first French world atlas.