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Description

Rare decorative plan of Paris, published by Jean Janvier in Paris.

This striking large-scale map of Paris captures the entire city in finely engraved detail at the mid-point of the eighteenth-century when the metropolis was the undisputed center of commence and arts in Continental Europe. With a population of over 550,000, the city was still confined to the relatively small area that lay within its old medieval walls, most of which still existed and can be seen on the map. The map is orientated southwards, looking up the River Seine, such that the Right Bank is actually on the left, and vice versa.

The plan presents a truly fascinating and detailed impression of contemporary Paris, as Janvier not only labels every street, but shows the outlines of each building with exacting precision, along with the gardens, fields and courtyards. The map is adorned on three sides by 22 views of the major sights of Paris, including (form the top-left, working clockwise): Place de Louis Le Grand (today's Place Vendôme), Notre Dame Cathedral, the Church of St. Germain, the Church of Ste. Genevieve, Sorbonne University, the Jesuit Church, Duval de Grace Monastery, the Royal Chapel of Ste. Chapelle, City Hall, 4 of the gates leading into the city, St. Sulpice Church, the old Arc de Triomphe, Les Invalides (the Ministry of the Army), the Place Royale (today's Place de Vosges), the Orleans Palace, the Royal Palace, the Tuilleries, The Louvre and the Place des Victoires. The composition also contains a small inset map of the environs of the city, 'Carte de la Banlieue de Paris'.

Janvier's work, one the finest and most detailed maps of the Paris, was first issued in 1748. A second state was issued in 1763 by Longchamps. This would appeare to be an unrecorded third state. The map is scarce in any edition. We are not aware of any listings in dealer's catalogs and only 1 example of the map (this copy) has appeared at auction during the last 25 years (although interestingly, it was offered sold once at an auction house in Scotland and re-sold later the same year at a different auction in London, at which sale we purchased the map).

Condition Description
Map printed on eight sheets, dissected and mounted in linen as issued, some very minor spots of discoloration and surface wear.
Reference
Archives nationales de France, 'Catalogue général des cartes, plans et dessins d’architecture', Tome 1(2), N/II/Seine/139/1 (referring to the 1763 ed.).