Guillaume De L'Isle (1675-1726)
Amsterdam: Pierre Schenk, 1798
Hand-colored copperplate engraving
31 ½" x 36" framed
Guillaume de L’ Isle was the leading French cartographer of the early 18th century. He was known for both his strong belief in the importance of accuracy, as well as his prolific output of over 100 maps during his lifetime.
Guillaume de L’Isle was born into a family of French cartographers, and was the pupil of mathematician and astronomer Jean Dominique Cassini. It is said that de L’Isle drew his first map at the age of nine. His first atlas, which he published at the age of 25, made an unprecedented effort to both correct fallacies of earlier maps, such as the depiction of California as an Island, and to add current data to maps. De’Isle was elected to the French Academie Royale des Sciences at the age of 27 and was later appointed to the highest honor as Premier Geographe du Roi (1718). His critical approach to the maps of his predecessors, backed by his training under J. D. Cassini, earned him recognition as the first scientific cartographer and the foremost geographer of his age.
De L’Isle was one of the first cartographers to accurately show, in this map of North America originally published in 1700, the peninsular formation of California. Many of de L’Isle’s maps were revised and republished into the 18th century. This later version released in the 1798 by the Amsterdam map publisher Pierre Schenk.