Paris: Denys Thierry, 1683.
Miniature view. Copper plate engraving with hand coloring. Sheet measures 8" x 5.25".
This striking bird's-eye view of the Romanian city of Oradea or Waradin was issued in 1683 by Allain Manesson-Mallet. The map depicts the city in magnificent detail, to a level where people can be seen walking on the streets. Individual buildings, trees, and fortifications are also rendered in profile. The river Crisul Repede flows in the center of the view with the hills of Oradea in the distance.
The city has throughout history been an important center of economic, social and cultural development in western Romania. The title is printed on a trompe-l'oeil banner. The map appeared in the French edition of Manesson-Mallet's "Description de L'Univers" and bears the text "De l'Europe Figure LVIII" in the top margin. The view is in good condition with minimal foxing and minor edge wear.
Allain Manesson-Mallet (1630-1706) advanced from his position of musket bearer under Louis XIV to eventually occupy the position of "maitre de mathematiques" to the French King. He was the author and engraver of "Description de L'Univers," a five-volume survey of the world that included maps of the ancient and modern world, star maps, illustrations of flora and fauna, and information on the customs, religion and government of the many nations included in the text. At the time, the text was the largest and most comprehensive work of its kind ever published. Intended to entertain its readers, Mallet's "Description" was a time capsule of the 17th-century world that captured and displayed it in all its splendor.