Nice original antique map of the region around Liege and Maastricht on the present-day border between Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. This highly detailed and attractive map was published by Nicolas Sanson in Paris in the end of the 17th century.
The map shows the cities of Roermond, Maastricht, Liege, Aachen, and Huy. Many additional towns and cities are named. The map shows a number of geographical features including rivers, forests, swamps, and more.
The map states, in French, that the territory shown was divided between the Catholic King (this would have been the Hapsburg Phillip IV or Charles II, the successive Kings of Spain and rulers of the Spanish Netherlands) and the United Provinces, which had just come out of a rebellion against their former Spanish rulers and an eighty-year-long conflict with the Hapsburg house. At the time, the Netherlands were at the start of their Golden Age and increasing in importance.
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.