Good example of the Eastern half of Tomas Lopez's "Carta Reducida y General de Las Islas de los Azores" (Reduced and General Map of the Azores Islands) from 1781
The work is an important representative of the high-quality Spanish cartography of the late 18th century, combining both artistic representation and the scientific rigor of its time.
The map is drawn at a relatively large scale, with the different islands of the Azores clearly defined and precisely delineated. Topographical features such as mountain ranges, valleys, and volcanic craters are intricately drawn, demonstrating the cartographer's attention to detail. The map also includes detailed hydrographic information, depicting coastlines, harbors, anchorages, and seabed depths.
One of the striking features of this map is its extensive accompanying text, providing a detailed history of the mapping of the Azores. This narrative traces the cartographic developments back to the chart created by Portuguese mapmaker Luis Teixeira in 1584. The inclusion of this historical context reveals Lopez's dedication not only to the craft of map-making but also to the preservation and communication of the history of cartography.
Overall, Lopez's map of the Azores serves not only as a navigational tool but also as a historical document, a work of art, and a testament to the cartographic knowledge and skills of the late 18th century.
Tomás López de Vargas Machuca (1730-1802) was one of Spain’s most prominent cartographers in the eighteenth century. He was born in Toledo but studied at the Colegio Imperial in Madrid, where he focused on mathematics, grammar, and rhetoric. Along with a small group of colleagues, in 1752 the Spanish government sent López for training in Paris with the renowned geographer Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville. When he returned to Spain he was named Geógrafo de los dominios de Su Magestad and put in charge of the geographic collections of Charles III. He published many maps, including his fascinating maps of the Americas, and a variety of geography manuals. Some of his most famous maps are of the Iberian Peninsula, part of his large project to create a majestic atlas of Spain. Unfinished in his lifetime, López's children published the Atlas Geográfico de España (Geographical Atlas of Spain) in 1804. It was republished in 1810 and 1830.