Remarkable Original Hand-Color Example of Jaillot's Brittany
Attractive and decorative map of Brittany, first designed by Nicolas Sanson and subsequently reprinted by Alexis-Hubert Jaillot and finally by Pierre Mortier, after the plates moved to Amsterdam. The map shows the Breton Peninsula in western France in extensive detail. The map includes a decorative cartouche containing naval emblems and a legend.
On the map, numerous cities, towns, forests, rivers, and more are all shown. Various centers of feudal importance are noted, with principalities, counties, duchies, marquise, and much more denoted. The map itself is colored according to Bishoprics, as stated in the title. The English Channel is given two names: the traditional French "La Manche" but it is also called "The French Channel."
The detail extends into the neighboring areas of Normandie and the Pays du Loire. The major cities of Brittany are shown including Brest, and Nantes is included within the region as well. In all, this is one of the best examples of this map of Brittany that was made.
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.
Pierre, or Pieter, Mortier (1661-1711) was a Dutch engraver, son of a French refugee. He was born in Leiden. In 1690 he was granted a privilege to publish French maps in Dutch lands. In 1693 he released the first and accompanying volume of the Neptune Francois. The third followed in 1700. His son, Cornelis (1699-1783), would partner with Johannes Covens I, creating one of the most important map publishing companies of the eighteenth century.