Decorative map showing the wanderings of the Apostles throughout the Holy Land and the Eastern Mediterranean, published by the great Parisian cartographer Nicholas Sanson.
The map includes a large inset of the Holy Land and a town plan of Jerusalem, based upon Villalpando's view of the city. In the lower left, an inset of the Holy Land shows the distribution of major historical cities and of the twelve tribes. The routes taken by Paul towards Rome from the Holy Land are engraved onto the map. Notes describing the cartographic features shown on the map abound.
The map includes numerous decorative elements including two compass roses and an ornate, devotional cartouche.
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.