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Cartographica Helvetica


Summary

Christine Marie Petto:

Cartography as a State task: the advancement for French map-makers in the 17th and 18th centuries

Cartographica Helvetica 12 (1995) 38–41

Summary:

During the reign of Louis XIV, cartography profited from an increase in the support of mapmaking activities by the state. Although the benefit of maps was well-appreciated by the government before this time, it was not until the last quarter of the 17th century that an increase in financial support, a strong state interest, and an improved technical knowledge combined to make France pre-eminent in the field of cartography for nearly a century.

The author studied this period by an investigation of the system of patronage – the support for cartography from the establishment of the Académie des Sciences to the end of the Old Régime. The research was done on the career of three cartographers: Alexis-Hubert Jaillot, Guillaume Delisle, and Jacques-Nicolas Bellin. They illustrate three different ways a mapmaker could participate in the system of patronage in 17th- and 18th-century France. The three groups are: commercial map-publishers, scientific cartographers, and salaried government professionals.


Bibliographic note

  • Article translated from American by Thomas Klöti, Bern.
  • Based on a paper read at 15th International Conference on the History of Cartography, Chicago, 21 to 25 June 1995.

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