Turgot's Monumental View of Paris, Stretching to Over 10 Feet When Joined.
This expansive engraved view of Paris covers the first eleven arrondissements of modern Paris. With a combined width of over ten feet, the joined plan makes for an arresting centerpiece. Turgot's is perhaps the best record of Paris in the 18th century, before its transformation by Georges-Eugène Haussmann and Emperor Napoleon III. It is widely regarded as one of the most important city views of all time.
The present example is bound in publisher's full mottled calf, with gilt arms of the City of Paris on front and back covers. The binding is in an exceptional state, with only some very small expert repairs or modifications to the fleur-de-lis motifs in the outer corners of the front cover. The map sheets could be removed from the binding for framing without damaging the binding, and the process would be reversible.
The binding and key sheet can be seen here: https://storage.googleapis.com/raremaps/img/large/51154a.jpg
The Mayor of Paris, Michel-Étienne Turgot, commissioned Louis Bretez, a member of the Académie de Saint-Luc to create an impressive image of the city. He was given license to survey wherever he needed and could enter private property if the task required. The end result was to be a statement piece, one which was presented to dignitaries, foreign and domestic alike, to reinforce their esteem of Paris.
Historians suspect that Bretez was awarded the commission in part because of the work he had already done on architectural perspective, some of which was published in his 1706 book La perspective pratique de l'architecture . Claude Lucas was Bretez's engraver.
Provenance: Purchased from an American collector, who in turn purchased it from Paul Prouté Et Ses Fils, Paris, in the middle of the 20th century (with the seller's paper wrapper).
PLEASE NOTE: The illustration provided is a digital composite of another example of the map ( David Rumsey Collection 10059 ). We are happy to provide images of the individual sheets upon request.