Attractive map of Lisbon showing the Portuguese capital as well as the surrounding countryside. The map is centered on the Tagus River and names several settlements. Topography is shown pictorially, and depth soundings are provided. This map originally appeared in Bellin's Le Petit Atlas Maritime.
The Lisbon earthquake and tsunami of 1755 leveled much of the city and is believed to be due to a magnitude 8.4 event. This led to a complete rebuilding of the city and of the parts which we now consider Old Lisbon. Some aspects remained the same after the earthquake, such as the layout of the city with a port and parks in the hills or the red-tile roofed buildings.
Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772) was among the most important mapmakers of the eighteenth century. In 1721, at only the age of 18, he was appointed Hydrographer to the French Navy. In August 1741, he became the first Ingénieur de la Marine of the Dépôt des cartes et plans de la Marine (the French Hydrographic Office) and was named Official Hydrographer of the French King.
During his term as Official Hydrographer, the Dépôt was the one of the most active centers for the production of sea charts and maps in Europe. Their output included a folio-format sea atlas of France, the Neptune Francois. He also produced a number of sea atlases of the world, including the Atlas Maritime and the Hydrographie Francaise. These gained fame and distinction all over Europe and were republished throughout the eighteenth and even in the nineteenth century.
Bellin also produced smaller format maps such as the 1764 Petit Atlas Maritime, containing 580 finely-detailed charts. He also contributed a number of maps for the 15-volume Histoire Generale des Voyages of Antoine François Prévost.
Bellin set a very high standard of workmanship and accuracy, cementing France's leading role in European cartography and geography during this period. Many of his maps were copied by other mapmakers across the continent.