Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

Carte de l’Inde en decà du Gange comprenant l’Indoustan & c.

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Article ID ASI1154
Artist Bellin (1703-1772)
Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703 Paris -1772 Versailles) was a French cartographer, engineer-geographer, marine hydrographer. As a contributor to the Encyclopédie, he wrote more than a thousand articles on maritime topics. As a cartographer, Bellin distinguished himself primarily in the field of sea cartography. From 1721 he worked for the Dépot des Cartes et Plans de la Marine, from 1741 until his death as an engineer-hydrograph of the Navy. In 1753 his atlas Neptune français, which covered all the coasts of France, was published, and in 1756 the hydrography françoise covering all seas of the earth. In 1764 the five-volume Petit Atlas maritime was published, which Bellin prepared on the orders of the Minister of the Navy, Choiseul. In addition, he wrote a number of geographical works and with Nouvelle méthode pour apprendre la geographie (1769) a geographic textbook for teaching. His maps illustrated, among other things, Bougainville's work Voyage autour du monde, published in 1771. As a co-author of the Encyclopédie edited by Diderot and d'Alembert, Bellin wrote more than a thousand articles in the field of shipping and navy.
Title Carte de l’Inde en decà du Gange comprenant l’Indoustan & c.
Year ca. 1752
Description Map shows partly India with the river Ganges and the cities Benares (Varanasi oder Kashi), Dehli, Agra, Surat, Khambhat, Diu,and tow decorative cartouches. From : Maps for Prevost's L'Histoire Générale des Voyages - 1747-61
After the 10th century, Muslim Central Asian nomadic clans, using swift-horse cavalry and raising vast armies united by ethnicity and religion, repeatedly overran South Asia's north-western plains, leading eventually to the establishment of the Islamic Delhi Sultanate in 1206. The sultanate was to control much of North India and to make many forays into South India. Although at first disruptive for the Indian elites, the sultanate largely left its vast non-Muslim subject population to its own laws and customs. By repeatedly repulsing Mongol raiders in the 13th century, the sultanate saved India from the devastation visited on West and Central Asia, setting the scene for centuries of migration of fleeing soldiers, learned men, mystics, traders, artists, and artisans from that region into the subcontinent, thereby creating a syncretic Indo-Islamic culture in the north. The sultanate's raiding and weakening of the regional kingdoms of South India paved the way for the indigenous Vijayanagara Empire. Embracing a strong Shaivite tradition and building upon the military technology of the sultanate, the empire came to control much of peninsular India and was to influence South Indian society for long afterwards. n the early 16th century, northern India, then under mainly Muslim rulers fell again to the superior mobility and firepower of a new generation of Central Asian warriors. The resulting Mughal Empire did not stamp out the local societies it came to rule. Instead, it balanced and pacified them through new administrative practices and diverse and inclusive ruling elites, leading to more systematic, centralised, and uniform rule. Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic identity, especially under Akbar, the Mughals united their far-flung realms through loyalty, expressed through a Persianised culture, to an emperor who had near-divine status. The Mughal state's economic policies, deriving most revenues from agriculture and mandating that taxes be paid in the well-regulated silver currency caused peasants and artisans to enter larger markets. Newly coherent social groups in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, and the Sikhs, gained military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule, which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military experience. By the early 18th century, with the lines between commercial and political dominance being increasingly blurred, a number of European trading companies, including the English East India Company, had established coastal outposts. The East India Company's control of the seas, greater resources, and more advanced military training and technology led it to increasingly flex its military muscle and caused it to become attractive to a portion of the Indian elite; these factors were crucial in allowing the company to gain control over the Bengal region by 1765 and sideline the other European companies.
Place of Publication Paris
Dimensions (cm)22,5 x 33,5
ConditionPerfect condition
TechniqueCopper print


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