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A Map Showing El Dorado -- The City Paved with Gold

Nice example of Sanson's map of Guyana, first published in Paris in 1657.

Early regional map of the region bounded the Isle of Margarita, Trinidad and Tobago and the mouth of the Orinoco River in the north and extending south to the mouth of the Amazon, and showing all of the mythical Parime River in central South America.

At the west end of Lake Parime, the city of Manoa el Dorado is still shown, hopeful encouragement that this legendary city still existed in the central part of South America.

The map covers equatorial South America, east of the Orinoco, which is shown nearly to its source, and reflects the lack of knowledge regarding the interior of the continent. Excellent coastal detail and many mountains, lakes, rivers, towns, islands, capes etc. are shown. One of the earliest obtainable regional maps of this area. 

This example is from Johann Zurner's Die Gantz Erd-Kugel, published in Frankfurt in 1679. The Zurner edition is the only edition to include the title in Spanish.

Nicolas Sanson Biography

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.