Scarce map and plan of Lisbon and the surrounding areas, published by Jacques Nicolas Bellin in Paris. The map shows the walled city of Lisbon and the course of the river Tagus, as well as surrounding areas as far as Setuval (Setubal), on the Sado River Estuary. It is unusual for a plan focused on Lisbon to have such a wide scope.
The map also includes a fine, wide-angle view of Belem Tower and Lisbon at the top and an inset plan of Lisbon and its fortifications. The main map shows the area around Lisbon and is oriented with east at the top.
The map was published shortly after a major earthquake destroyed much of Lisbon on November 1, 1755. This is referenced on the map, although the view does not appear to be updated. The Lisbon Earthquake was of great importance for cartographic history, as the royal library was destroyed in this event, where many early manuscripts of the Americas were stored.
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.