Sanson Navarre 1652


Nicholas Sanson. “Royaume De Navarre.” Paris: Pierre Mariette, 1652. 20 3/4 x 16. Engraving.   Some spotting in lower left.  Overall, very good condition.


A fine map of Navarre by ‘the father of French cartography,’ Nicolas Sanson. Modern cartography is usually thought of beginning with a period dominated by the Dutch school of the late sixteenth and first part of the seventeenth century.  This age was followed by a period of dominance by the French school of cartography, the beginning date of which is usually given as 1650, when Nicolas Sanson began publishing his important maps. The importance of Sanson is reflected by the fact that it is with his maps that the center of cartographic publishing and influence shifted from the Low Countries to France.

Whereas the Dutch cartographers are known for their fabulous decorations and coloring, the French cartographers are known for their pioneering the scientific method of cartography. This map is excellent evidence of this shift in emphasis, with the topographical information presented representing only that data that could reliably be counted as having a scientific accuracy, and with this information depicted with a clear and precise simplicity that contrasts sharply with the busyness of the Dutch maps. A fine historic, French document.