Guillaume De L'Isle

Guillaume De L'Isle

Guillaume De L'Isle (1675-1726) is probably the greatest figure in French cartography. Having learned geography from his father Claude, by the age of eight or nine he could draw maps to demonstrate ancient history. He studied mathematics and astronomy under Cassini, from whom he received a superb grounding in scientific cartography—the hallmark of his work. His first atlas was published in ca. 1700. In 1702 he was elected a member of the Academie Royale des Sciences and in 1718 he became Premier Geographe du Roi.

De L'Isle's work was important as marking a transition from the maps of the Dutch school, which were highly decorative and artistically-orientated, to a more scientific approach. He reduced the importance given to the decorative elements in maps, and emphasized the scientific base on which they were constructed. His maps of the newly explored parts of the world reflect the most up-to-date information available and did not contain fanciful detail in the absence of solid information. It can be fairly said that he was truly the father of the modern school of cartography at the commercial level.

De L’Isle also played a prominent part in the recalculation of latitude and longitude, based on the most recent celestial observations. His major contribution was in collating and incorporating this latitudinal and longitudinal information in his maps, setting a new standard of accuracy, quickly followed by many of his contemporaries. Guillaume De L’Isle’s work was widely copied by other mapmakers of the period, including Chatelain, Covens & Mortier, and Albrizzi.


1706 - Carte De Tartarie dressee sur les Relations . . . 1706

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Nice example of this detailed map of Tartary, consisting of the Eastern part of Russia, Central Asia, China and Korea, first published by Nicholas De L'Isle in 1706. The map extends from the Peninsula of Korea in the east to the Caspian and Black...


1703 - Carte de la Hongrie et des Pays qui en dependoient autresois dressée sur un grand nombre de memoire. . . 1703

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Detailed map of Southern Europe published by Guillaume De L'Isle. Shows Hungary, along with part of Dalmatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Romania, Constantinople, the Black Sea, Crimea, the Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Transylvania, Moravia, Moldovia, the...


1717 - Carte Particuliere de la Hongrie de la Transilvanie de la Croatie et de la Sclavonie . . . 1717

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Scarce regional map of the region north of the Danube, published by Guillaume De L'Isle in Paris. Includes all or part of Hungary, Romania, Transylvania, Slovenia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Serbia, and Poland.


1701 - Carte De La Turquie De L'Arabie et De La Perse . . . 1701

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Fine example of an state of De L'Isle's map of the Turkish Empire and Arabian Peninsula, with De L'Isle's "Quai de l'Horlogie al Aigle d'Or" address, which was used only briefly after his move from Rue de Cannettes. Includes the Turkish Empire,...


1717 - Carte de l'isle et Royaume de Sicile . . . 1717 (large Malta inset)

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With a Large Image of a Volcanic Eruption at Mt. Aetna Finely detailed map of island of Sicily, with a large inset of Malta, published by Guillaume De L'Isle in Paris. The map extends to include the Aeolian Islands, which are here called the Lipari...


1705 - Carte Des Indes et de la Chine Dressee sur plusieurs Relations particulieres Rectifees par quelques Observations Par Guillaume De L'Isle de l'Academie Royale des Sciences . . . 1705

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De L’Isle’s Detailed Map of Eastern Asia Updated example this noteworthy map of East Asia and the Indian subcontinent published by France’s foremost eighteenth-century cartographer, Guillaume De L’Isle. The map was foundational; it was...


1780 - Carte des Cotes de Malabar et de Coromandel. . . 1780

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Finely Detailed Map of Southern India Emphasizing Trade Finely engraved map of the southern part of India, first issued in 1723 by acclaimed French mapmaker Guillaume De L’Isle. It focuses on trade routes within India, as well as the Coromandel and...


1707 - Carte De L'Egypte De La Nubie De L'Abissinie . . . 1707

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Nice example of Guillaume De L'Isle's highly detailed map of the region between the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt and the Horn of Africa, centered on the Red Sea. The map extends west to include Sicily, the Southeastern Mediterranean Coastline of Africa....


1707 - Carte de la Barbarie le la Nigritie et de la Guinée Par Guillaume De L'Isle

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Detailed map of Northwestern Africa, published by Guillaume De L'Isle, the French Royal Mapmaker. Extends from the Kingdom of Tripoli and the Mediterranean to the Gulf of Guinea and the Gabon River, with remarkable detail throughout. Includes the...


1708 - Carte Du Congo Et Du Pays Des Cafres . . . 1708

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De L’Isle’s Fine Map of Southern Africa Striking example of De L'Isle's impressive map of South Africa and Madagascar, showing De L’Isle’s characteristic precision and attention to detail. Stretching from Congo in the north to what is now...


1745 - Carte De L'Afrique Francoise ou Du Senegal . . . 1726

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Fine example of Philppe Buache's edition of De L'Isle's highly detailed map of part of the West Coast of Africa, from Cap Blanc to the Pays des Mallus, centered on the Gambia River and Senegal River. Extraordinary detail along the two rivers, tracking...


1714 - Hemisphere Meridional pour voir plus distinctement Les Terres Australes . . . 1714

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First edition of De L'Isle's important map of the Southern Hemisphere, first published in 1714. De L'Isle's map is an important early map of the South Polar regions, which would become the standard base map for French and Dutch map makers for much of...