Fine example of Jean Baptiste d'Anville's map covering a section of Chinese Tartary.
The map provides a detailed depiction of the portion of Tartary including regions occupied by the Yup, Ilan-Hala and ancient Mantcheou.
One of the most notable features of d'Anville's map is its level of detail. The map includes a wealth of information about the geography of the region, including the locations of cities, rivers, and other geographical features. D'Anville also includes notes on the map that provide additional information about the region, such as the names of tribes and the locations of important roads and trading routes.
Another striking aspect of d'Anville's map is its level of accuracy. At the time that the map was created, much of the information about the region of Tartary was based on hearsay and speculation. However, d'Anville was able to draw on a wide range of sources in order to create a map that was as accurate as possible. This included using information from Jesuit missionaries who had traveled to the region, as well as data from other European and Chinese sources.
One of the key features of the map is its depiction of the Tartares Yupi and Tartares Ilan-Hala, two groups of nomadic people who inhabited the region of Chinese Tartary. The map shows the territories controlled by these groups, as well as their settlements and camps. In addition to the Tartares Yupi and Tartares Ilan-Hala, the map also includes information about the ancient lands of the Mantcheou. This was a powerful empire that ruled over much of China and Central Asia in the past, and its remnants could still be found in the region of Chinese Tartary in the early 18th century.
Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville (1697-1782) was one of the foremost French geographers of the eighteenth century. He carried out rigorous research in order to create his maps, which greatly developed the technical proficiency of mapmaking during his lifetime. His style was also simpler and less ornate than that of many of his predecessors. It was widely adopted by his contemporaries and successors.
The son of a tailor, d’Anville showed cartographic prowess from a young age; his first map, of Ancient Greece, was published when he was only fifteen years old. By twenty-two, he was appointed as one of the King’s géographes ordinaire de roi. He tutored the young Louis XV while in the service to the Crown. However, royal appointment did not pay all the bills, so d’Anville also did some work for the Portuguese Crown from 1724. For example, he helped to fill out Dom João V’s library with geographical works and made maps showing Portugal’s African colonies.
D’Anville disapproved of merely copying features from other maps, preferring instead to return to the texts upon which those maps were based to make his own depictions. This led him to embrace blank spaces for unknown areas and to reject names which were not supported by other sources. He also amassed a large personal map library and created a network of sources that included Jesuits in China and savants in Brazil. D’Anville’s historical approach to cartography resulted in magnificently detailed, yet modern and academic, maps. For example, his 1743 map of Italy improved upon all previous maps and included a memoir laying out his research and innovations. The geographer also specialized in ancient historical geography.
In 1773, d’Anville was named premier géographe de roi. In 1780, he ceded his considerable library to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be used for as a reference library for diplomats. D’Anville is best known for several maps, including his map of China, first published in 1735, and then included with Du Halde’s history of that country (the Hague, 1737). His map of Africa (1749) was used well into the nineteenth century.