Saturday, May 28, 2011

Vintage Map – Plan de Paris by Turgot, 1739

This post is not about the Christian Dior dress but about the vintage map from 1739 by Turgot you see in the background. I have seen them a few times and I can spend hours looking at it and marvel at the detail and sheer size of the print.
When I have my own house, this is the first thing I will buy!

Louis Bretez and Michel-Etienne Turgot's monumental 1739 map of Paris during the reign of Louis XV. Michel-Etienne Turgot, Louis XV's Prévot des Marchands, commissioned this plan in 1734 from Loius Bretez, a sculptor, painter and perspective specialist, who used the conventional bird's-eye representation. This was the last major example of this type of plan and is an important record of the architecture and gardens of Paris at that time. Turgot's plan of Paris is possibly the most ambitious urban mapping ever undertaken. Shows the whole of 18th century Paris and offers a wonderful perspective on the city prior to Baron Georges Eugène Haussmann’s 19th-century redesign.
Turgot, who held the mayor-like office of Prévôt des Marchands de Paris, commissioned Louis Bretez and Claude Lucas to produce this map in 1734. Oriented to the east on an axonometrical projection, this map is best understood as an aerial view where in every building, window, tree, shadow and park is shown. It took the team nearly five years of exhaustive sketching and surveying to assemble this masterpiece. In order to produce the thousands of sketches and surveys required to complete this map, Bretez was issued a permit to enter every building in Paris. The completed plan which consists of twenty individual sheets, can be assembled into a massive and striking display roughly 8 feet by 10 feet.

The map at Antony Todd's Store in NYC


Valéry Lorenzo said...

Beautiful ! I suppose that it's a portrait of Dovima by Avedon...

Marylin said...

This is such a fantastic map, it is an amazing decorative piece and full of history.