Finely executed early plan of Warsaw, published circa 1785, in Paris, by Pierre Tardieu.
Tardieu's plan is based upon the 4-sheet plan of Warsaw by Pierre Ricaud de Tirregaille, entitled Plan de la ville de Varsovie: dedie a S. M. Auguste III Roi de Pologne, Electeur de Saxe etc. etc., levé par ordre de S. E. M. le Comte Bielinski Grand Marechal de la Couronne, first published in 1762 and Antonio Rizzi-Zannoni's single sheet version of the map, published in 1772.
Pierre Ricaud de Tirregaille (1725-1770) was a French Architect and Engineer. Tirregaille came to Poland in 1752, where he worked as a civil architect, surveyor and as an army engineer and captain of an infantry regiment. He attained the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Polish armed forces in 1762. In 1758 and 1759, Tirregaille worked for the "Komisja Brukowa" or Cobblestone Commission. Created in 1685, the Cobblestone Commission was tasked with paving the streets of Warsaw and creating a modern sewer system. The Commission remained largely inactive until 1740, when it was headed by Crown Marshal Franciszek Bielinski. Under his leadership, over the next 20 years, the commission managed to pave 222 streets, a large majority of streets of the contemporary Polish capital. In 1757, Bielinski, with his own funds, created the village of Bielino, which would become the modern city center of Warsaw. In 1762, with his work nearly completed, Bielinski commissioned Tirregaille to prepare a detailed plan of the city of Warsaw, which resulted in the creation of the first map of Warsaw, based upon a scientific survey.
Rizzi-Zannoni's plan, published in 1772, coincided with the efforts of Polish Nobles to enlist the assistance of French "democracy" experts in Paris, including Rosseau and Malby, to help restructure the Polish "Republic" on the eve of the first partition.
The original Tirregaille plan is known in only 4 recorded examples, with the original manuscript having been destroyed in 1944.
Pierre Antoine Tardieu (1784-1869), also known to sign his works as PF Tardieu, was a prolific French map engraver and geographer. The Tardieu family, based in Paris, was well known for their talent in engraving, cartography, and illustration. Pierre Antoine’s father, Antoine Francois Tardieu, was an established cartographer who published numerous atlases. His son is said to have collaborated with him for many years before establishing his own independent career.
Pierre Antoine Tardieu’s most famous work includes engravings of the islands of La Palma and Tenerife, for which in 1818 he was awarded a bronze medal by King Louis-Phillipe for the beauty and accuracy of his mapping. Other famous work includes his mapping of Louisiana and Mexico, engravings of Irish counties, maps of Russia and Asia, and his highly celebrated illustrations of all the provinces of France. He was also the first mapmaker to engrave on steel.
Tardieu was a popular map engraver in his lifetime, enjoying the patronage of the likes of Alexander von Humboldt and respect among his peers. In 1837, he was appointed the title Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur. As was written in his obituary in the Bulletin of the Geographical Society of France, he was renowned for his combination of technical talent and scholarly research skills and praised for furthering his family’s well-respected name in the scientific arts.