Finely engraved map of Africa, published by Citoyen (Citizen) Berthelon in Paris, for the "Nouvelle Edition" of the Atlas Modern Portatif. . . .
The Atlas Moderne Portatif was one of the most popular geographical atlases published at the time of the French Revolution. Stylistically restrained and utilitarian in its composition, it was a reflection of populist France during the first French Republic (1792-1804). Consisting of 30 maps of parts of the world and celestial models, it outline the most up to date geographical features of the various parts of the world, although in fact some of the maps, such as the map of North America and the maps of the British Colonies, were by then out of date.
The charm of these maps is their simple direct elegance style and lack of pretension, coming at the end of a period where even the traditionally scientific French mapmakers were still utilizing Rococo style decorative cartouches, coats of arms and dedications to French nobility on most maps. The maps were accompanied by several pages of explanatory text for each map, containing a concise geographical and historical overview of the region.