“Carte du Mexique et de la Nouvelle Espagne” By Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville

Carte du MexiqueJ.B.B.d’Anville

Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville (1697-1782), a Paris native, began his career around 1718 working for Louis Du Four de Longuerue, a specialist in the classics and oriental languages. By 1719, d’Anville was appointed as geography tutor to King Louis XV. Furthermore, d’Anville had a strong patronage relationship with the Orleans family. D’Anville produced more than 200 maps and gathered a huge map collection, which was turned into the Bibliotheque nationale de France after his death.

J.B.B. d’Anville’s Mapmaking Methodology

First d’Anville would gather a exhaustive amount of sources for the geography of the region in question. He used classical texts, resources of his library, and oral sources. Once he had amassed a suitable amount of source material, he would then turn to the actual drafting process. D’Anville used large sheets of thick white paper that had been selected for its durability and ability to withstand erasing and scraping. He would make his initial drawings with lead pencil so that mistakes could be easily erased. The strength of the line reflected d’Anville’s certainty about the features he was sketching in. Usually, the scale of these preliminary drafts were larger than the scale of the finished maps, which allowed him to work more easily on the most minute details. D’Anville would then turn to revisions, comparing his rough maps to his data to check if what he had drawn was correct. He often asked travelers and ambassadors to correct his maps.

With the original drawing complete, the map would be turned over to engravers for actual production. D’Anville gave his engravers no license for any stylistic variation. He checked every proof himself and treated them to equal study. For all his work, d’Anville would also write a long essay or dissertation in which he identified his sources, explained his general approach, highlighted his method of analysis, and justified his work.

Remondini Publishing Firm

Giovanni Antonio Remondini, originally from Padua, established the Remondini Publishing Firm in 1657 in a house on the best square in Bassano, Venice. The firm printed books, booklets, handbills, pamphlets, and prints. By 1715, the firm had 12 printing presses, which gave the firm a competitive position in the international market. This huge business capital as well privileges granted by the Venetian State led to its growth. By 1773, the Remondini firm was regarded as one of the greatest in Europe. The firm had 1,000 employees, 54 press machines, of which 32 were dedicated to the production of prints.

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