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Decorative old color regional map of France centered on the Principality of Orange, Avignon and the Rhone River, oriented with south at the top of the map.

Nice decorative cartouche. Chast. Noeuf du Pape (Chateauneuf du Pape) is shown along the Rhone River, half way between Avignon and Orange.

A fine example of this decorative map of one of France's most famous wine regions. Blaeu was one of the last of the principal map makers to use map orientations which did not place North at the top of the map, although the practice continued with sea chart makers well into the 18th Century.

Willem Janszoon Blaeu Biography

Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638) was a prominent Dutch geographer and publisher. Born the son of a herring merchant, Blaeu chose not fish but mathematics and astronomy for his focus. He studied with the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, with whom he honed his instrument and globe making skills. Blaeu set up shop in Amsterdam, where he sold instruments and globes, published maps, and edited the works of intellectuals like Descartes and Hugo Grotius. In 1635, he released his atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, sive, Atlas novus.

Willem died in 1638. He had two sons, Cornelis (1610-1648) and Joan (1596-1673). Joan trained as a lawyer, but joined his father’s business rather than practice. After his father’s death, the brothers took over their father’s shop and Joan took on his work as hydrographer to the Dutch East India Company. Later in life, Joan would modify and greatly expand his father’s Atlas novus, eventually releasing his masterpiece, the Atlas maior, between 1662 and 1672.