Paris: Pierre Mariette, 1651. Map. Copperplate engraving with beautiful original outline color. Image measures 16 x 21"
This lovely map shows the location of the twelve tribes in the Holy Land. Unlike the Dutch maps of this time, this French map is simplified and elegant, with an emphasis on information rather than ornament. The result is a beautifully simple rendering exemplified by the empty Mediterranean Sea, in which original lines of printer's ink are visible. Pictograms indicate towns, mountains, forts, and forests. A large strapwork title cartouche features an angel at top. This map is from "La Terre sainte en six cartes géographiques" (The Holy Land in six maps), the first collection of maps laid out in a chronological sequence around a unifying theme. La Rue's goal was to trace the history of the world from the origins to the present. The six maps cover the land of Canaan and the Exodus, the Promised Land, Solomon's kingdom, the land at the time of Abraham, the Christian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and modern Syria under Ottoman rule. The map is in excellent condition with no chips or tears. Slight foxing around the edges and includes a large watermark at right. Little is known about the French mapmaker Philippe de La Rue. He was associated with the pioneering French cartographer Nicolas Sanson, and specialized in Biblical themes. This map is a fine example of his work.