Sublime, rare and extraordinary large view from the Rive Gauche
Date of this edition: 1654
Dimensions (not including margins): 27 x 80 cm
Dimensions (with margins): 31,3 x 82,5 cm
Condition: Very good. Sharp copper with wide margins. Printed on three sheets.
Condition rating: A
Reference: Jean Boutier, 2007, no. 88. Note: he did not specifically mention Merian as the cartographer!
Paris during the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King
Striking large format view of Paris, probably (as attributed to) first published by Merian in 1654. The view, from the South (or Rive Gauche), includes 2 coats of arms and a key locating 44 points of interest.
Superbly realized panorama of Paris, showing it within the context of the surrounding countryside replete with windmills. It effectively recreates what the mid-17th century traveler would have seen on approaching the city from the northeast, at a distance of a few miles. This view is to be distinguished from Merian’s more common, earlier view that gives a more narrowly focused view of the city, as seen from the north. The legend below keys 44 locations to the view, including the Bastille and Notre Dame.
Mathaus Merian (1593-1650) was born in Basel, Switzerland and trained in engraving in Zurich. After a time in Nancy, Paris and Strasbourg, he settled in Frankfurt. While there, he worked since 1616 for Johann Theodor de Bry, the publisher and son of the well-known travel writer. In 1617, he married Maria Magdalena de Bry, Johann Theodor’s daughter. In 1623, Merian took over the de Bry publishing house upon the death of his father-in-law. Merian’s best known works are detailed town views which, due to their accuracy and artistry, form a valuable record of European urban life in the first half of the sixteenth century.