Decowerte de la Groenlande/ Entdeckung Grönlands

  • Translation

Article ID EUS2410


Decowerte de la Groenlande/ Entdeckung Grönlands


Map shows Greenland and Iceland, the northern part of Great Britain and the western part of Norway.


ca. 1683


Mallet (1630-1706)

Alain Manesson Mallet (1630- 1706 ) was a French cartographer and engineer. He started his career as a soldier in the army of Louis XIV, became a Sergeant-Major in the artillery and an Inspector of Fortifications. He also served under the King of Portugal, before returning to France, and his appointment to the court of Louis XIV. His military engineering and mathematical background led to his position teaching mathematics at court. His major publications were Description de L'Univers (1683) in 5 volumes, and Les Travaux de Mars ou l'Art de la Guerre (1684) in 3 volumes. His Description de L'Universe contains a wide variety of information, including star maps, maps of the ancient and modern world, and a synopsis of the customs, religion and government of the many nations included in his text. It has been suggested that his background as a teacher led to his being concerned with entertaining his readers. This concern manifested itself in the charming harbor scenes and rural landscapes that he included beneath his description of astronomical concepts and diagrams. Mallet himself drew most of the figures that were engraved for this book.

Historical Description

Greenland is the largest island in the world and is geologically part of the Arctic North America. From a political point of view, it is an autonomous part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Around 875, the Norwegian Gunnbjørn discovered the island and named it Gunnbjørnland. In 982 Erik the Red had to flee Iceland and finally ended up in southwest Greenland. He gave the island its name Grænland. The Vikings who settled in Greenland were therefore called Grænlendingar. Around 1124 to 1126 Greenland became its own diocese, the bishopric of which was in Gardar, today's Igaliku, with the cathedral of Garðar. In 1350, the Icelandic churchman Ivar Bardarsson reported that the western settlement had been abandoned. A Swedish-Norwegian expedition under Paul Knudson (1355-1364) found no more Grænlendingar there. The last written record of the Northmen from the eastern settlement is from 1408, telling of a wedding in the church of Hvalsey. Contacts with Norway and Iceland broke off. After Europe lost contact with the settlers on Greenland in 1408, the island received little attention for 300 years due to its inhospitable nature. The English navigator John Davis landed in 1585, looking for the Northwest Passage, as the first new discoverer of Greenland, which he called the Land of Desolation, near present-day Nuuk. He circumnavigated the southern tip of the island and gave Cape Farvel its name. Under Christian IV there were three expeditions to Greenland in 1605, 1606 and 1607. In the first, helmsman James Hall, who had probably also driven with John Davis, recommended the new route taken by John Davis between the Orkney and Shetland Islands. In 1721 Greenland was taken over by the Norwegian Hans Egede for Denmark-Norway. In the Peace of Kiel in 1814, the Danish-Norwegian personal union was dissolved, Greenland fell to Denmark, but with the entry into force of the new Danish constitution on June 5, 1953, Greenland was no longer a colony.

Place of Publication Paris
Dimensions (cm)15,5 x 10,5
ConditionVery good
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print


33.00 €

( A reproduction can be ordered individually on request. )