Fine map of the Sea of Azof and environs, based upon the map of "Capitaine Kinsbergen," which appeared in the atlas volume of Histoire physique, morale, civile et politique de la Russie Ancienne" by N. G. Le Clerc.
Jan-Hendrki Van Kinsbergen's map of Crimea was the first printed map of the Crimea, following its annexation by Russia.
The first edition of Van Kinsbergen's map appeared in 1776. The map is based on observations made by Van Kinsbergen and the Russian Navy, shortly after the conclusion of the Russian-Turkish War, and includes a remarkable amount of topographical detail. During the Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774, and again in 1783 in connection with the annexation of the Crimea, an intensive effort to map the Black Sea was conducted by the Russian Navy. Among the earliest maps to derive from this work is Jan-Hendrik Van Kinsbergen's map of the Crimea, first published in 1776.
Captain Jan Hendrik van Kinsbergen (1735-1819) was a Dutch officer invited by Catherine II to serve in the Russian Navy. During her service from 1770-75, he fought the Turks, becoming known as the "Hero of the Black Sea," as a result of his important victory in 1773 against a much larger Turkish force. During this war, Russia took the Crimea, and one of the duties of Jan Hendrik van Kinsbergen, as laid out by Peter the Great, founder of the Russian Navy, was making charts of the newly conquered land. During this time, he produced a number of maps which were later published from Russian sources, of which this 4-sheet map is perhaps the best known and most important. Van Kinsbergen's superlative map of Crimea is a work whose quality far exceeded the expectations of his mandate as Captain for the Russian Navy.
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.