Plan de Paris. Commencé l'année 1734. Dessiné et gravé sous les ordres de Messire Michel Étienne Turgot, Marquis de Sousmons...
By: Michel-Étienne Turgot & Louis Bretez
Date of Original: 1739 (published) Paris
Original Size: 102.5 x 130 inches (260 x 330 cm)
This is a fine print wall covering of a monumental twenty sheet map of Paris that is widely considered to be one of the most impressive bird’s eye view of a city every created. It all began in 1734, when Michel-Étienne Turgot, chief of the municipality of Paris commissioned Michel-Étienne Turgot to create a statement piece to be presented to foreign and domestic dignitaries intended to boast the architecture and layout of the city.
In order to achieve this, Turgot was given special permission to enter private mansions, houses, and gardens to take measurements and make sketches so that the finished work would be as accurate as if viewed from the sky in a balloon. The entire process took two years of consistent work followed by the exemplary engraving talents of Claude Lucas of the Royal Academy of Sciences.
The end result of these unique efforts is a spectacular map of Paris, comprised of twenty individual sheets that when joined together creates a dramatic visualization of one of the most iconic cities of the world.
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What can be referred to as modern cartography has been around for over 550 years. Throughout that time an enormous amount of new land was discovered, cities were founded while others perished. International trade and travel became the norm, political borders were ever-changing, and numerous wars were waged. With all that being said, hundreds of thousands of maps were created that show such events and episodes in time.
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