Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

In Notitiam Ecclesiasticam Africae Tabula Geographica

  • Translation

Article ID AF0103
Artist L´Isle, de /Covens & Mortier (1626-1726)
Guillaume De L´isle (1626- 1757) Paris, was a French cartographer known for his popular and accurate maps of Europe and the newly explored Americas and Africa. De L´isle was admitted into the French Académie Royale des Sciences, an institution financed by the French state. After that date, he signed his maps with the title of “Géographe de l’Académie”. Five years later, he moved to the Quai de l’Horloge in Paris, a true publishing hub where his business prospered. De L´isle’s ascension through the ranks culminated in 1718 when he received the title of Premier Géographe du Roi. His new office consisted in teaching geography to the Dauphin, King Louis XIV’s son, a task for which he received a salary. De L´sle’s reputation as a man of science probably helped .This supports the claim of the historian Mary Sponberg Pedley, who says “once authority was established, a geographer’s name might retain enough value to support two or three generations of mapmakers”. In De L´isle’s case, it could be said that his accomplishments surpassed his father’s. Up to that point, he had drawn maps not only of European countries, such as Italy, Spain, Germany, Great Britain, Poland, and regions such as the Duchy of Burgundy, but he had also contributed to the empire’s claims to recently explored continents of Africa and the Americas. Like many cartographers of these days, De L´isle did not travel with the explorers and elaborated the maps mostly in his office. The quality of his maps depended on a solid network that would provide him first-hand information. Given the family’s reputation and his own, De L´isle had access to fairly recent accounts of travellers who were coming back from the New World, which gave him an advantage over his competitors. Being a member of the Académie, he was also aware of recent discoveries, especially in astronomy and measurement. When he could not confirm the accuracy of his source, he would indicate it clearly on his maps. For instance, his Carte de la Louisiane shows a river that the baron of Lahontan claimed he discovered, but no one else could validate it, so Delisle warned the viewer that its actual existence was in doubt. De L´isle 's search for exactitude and intellectual honesty entangled him in a legal dispute in 1700 with Jean-Baptiste Nolin, a fellow cartographer. Noticing Nolin had used details that were considered original from his Map of the World, De L´isle dragged Nolin in court to prove his plagiarism. In the end, Delisle managed to convince the jury of scientists that Nolin only knew the old methods of cartography and therefore that he had stolen the information from his manuscript. Nolin's maps were confiscated and he was forced to pay the court costs.The scientificity of the work produced by the De L´isle family contrasted with the workshop of Sanson. While Sanson knowingly published outdated facts and mistakes, De L´isle strived to present up-to-date knowledge.
Title In Notitiam Ecclesiasticam Africae Tabula Geographica
Year dated 1700
Description Map shows Marocco, Algeria and Tunesia with Spain, Balear Islands, Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily.
According to the "Out-of-Africa theory", Africa is considered the "cradle of mankind", where homo development led to the development of the anatomically modern human Homo sapiens. One of the earliest advanced civilizations in mankind was formed in ancient Egypt. Over the millennia, various "great empires" such as the Empire of Abyssinia emerged on the continent. There were other kingdoms in West Africa, such as the Ashanti and Haussa, but they emerged much later. There were also some important cultures in East and South Africa, as in the area of today's Sudan, then called Nubia or Kush. Nubian pharaohs ruled all of Egypt for a dynasty. For example, the inhabitants of Greater Zimbabwe were important cultures in southern Africa. This stone castle was architecturally a masterpiece at that time and important for trade between the peoples of the south and east. The Swahili were known in East Africa. North Africa was connected to Europe and the Near East by the Mediterranean rather than separated. Carthage, a foundation of the Phoenicians in what is now Tunisia, was around the middle of the 1st millennium BC. The dominant power in the western Mediterranean until it was replaced by Rome in the Punic Wars. This prevailed from 30 BC. BC (conquest of Egypt) over all of North Africa. Even the ancient Egyptians (Queen Hatshepsut) made trips to Punt, probably in what is now Somalia. The kingdom of the Queen of Sheba, which probably had its center in southern Arabia, is said to have spanned parts of the Horn from Africa to the north of Ethiopia.
Place of Publication Paris
Dimensions (cm)48 x 64
ConditionVery good
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print

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