Carte réduite des parties connues de globe terrestre
Large and decorative 18th century map of the world by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin.
Bellin's map beautifully illustrates the latest geographical discoveries and theories at the end of the 17th century. However, unlike his contemporaries Joseph-Nicolas De L’Isle and Philippe Buache, Bellin cautiously keep the area in Northern America (Canada) blank rather than marking inland waterways. He still falsely depicted the Sea of the West open towards the pacific with the imaginary islands in the Ocean, (named Isle S. Dimitre, Isle S. Laurent or marked as: "lands seen by Russians in 1728" ; "lands seen in 1723 without further knowledge"). In the south, Bellin depicts several islands attached to Australia including New Guinea, "Terre de Damien", "Terre de Saint Esprit", "Terre de Lewin 1628" et "Terre d'Endract".
This map's embellishment is reserved to a title cartouche in the bottom left corner and a advertisement cartouche in the Botton right corner with a compass rose in the center.
Jacques Nicolas Bellin (1703-1772) was a French cartographer, hydrographer and encyclopedist who served the Ministry of the Navy from 1721. He was then appointed engineer hydrographer in August 1741 and became a member of the Académie de Marine and the Royal Society of London. During his career he used a very particular system to build his cartography and became the most copied cartographer of the 18th century.
The fundamental principles that animated his mapping of North America were: to secure navigation on the St. Lawrence River and to claim for France the lands explored by the French in the Great Lakes region and along the Mississippi River.