Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account

An attractive example of Sanson's double-page engraved map Bohemia.  

Sanson's map meticulously outlines the Bohemian landscape, detailing its major towns and significant topographical features. Key towns such as Prague, Brno, Plzeň (Pilsen), České Budějovice (Budweis), and Hradec Králové (Königgrätz) are prominently marked. These towns, each with its unique history and significance, shaped the socio-cultural and economic fabric of Bohemia.

One cannot discuss Bohemia without mentioning the majestic Vltava River, known in German as the Moldau. Flowing right through the heart of the region, the Vltava is prominently depicted in Sanson's map, its serpentine course passing through Prague, the historic capital and cultural epicenter of Bohemia.

The 17th century ushered in a period of profound transformation for Bohemia. Initiated by the Defenestration of Prague in 1618, the ensuing Thirty Years' War saw the Protestant Bohemians resist the Catholic Habsburgs. With the defeat at the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, Bohemia underwent a forced re-Catholicization under the victorious Habsburgs. The Peace of Westphalia in 1648 marked the end of this devastating conflict, entrenching the Habsburgs' dominance over a Catholic Bohemia.

Crafted just six years post the Peace of Westphalia, Sanson's map offers a glimpse into a Europe still grappling with the scars of war. It provides viewers with a geographical layout of a region central to the tumultuous religious and political dynamics of the era. 

Condition Description
Old outline hand-color.
Nicolas Sanson Biography

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.