Jacques Cartier (1491-1557) was the first French Explorer to explore the New World. He explored what is now Canada and set the stage for the great explorer and navigator Samuel de Champlain to begin colonization of Canada. Cartier was the first European to discover and create a map for the St. Lawrence River. In 1838, the painter François Riss received an order by the city of St Malo to produce a portrait of Jacques Cartier (1491-1557). It was reproduced in 1846 by the painter Louis-Félix Amiel in Quebec City. The original painting of the imagined Cartier by Riss was destroyed in a fire at the old town hall in 1944. This version is one of many replicas of the lost work. It was executed in 1895 by the librarian of the city of Saint-Malo, Auguste Lemoine (1850-1908) for the the city of Paramé and now hangs in the St Malo civic history museum. There are no known contemporary portraits of Cartier.
This cuneiform map of the Babylonian world is an archeological treasure on a par with the Rosetta Stone and the code of Hammurabi. The Babylonian World Map, also known as Imago Mundi is usually dated to the 6th century BCE and is the one of the oldest known world maps and certainly the most famous. We saw this when we were at the British Museum for the Olympics and I thought I would do some posts on famous ancient maps. An inscription on the Babylonian World Map indicates that it was a copy of a previous map and the locations featured on the map indicate that the original could not have been created earlier than the 9th century BCE. The back of the tablet is covered with cuneiform mainly describing Seven Islands or regions which are depicted in the form of equal triangles rising beyond the circle of the Earthly Ocean.
I saw this at Versailles. This beautiful terrestrial globe from 1705 is also a map of the night sky if you look closely at the inner surface of the upper half of the globe. It is the creation of Guillaume de L'Isle, mathematician Jean Pignon, engraver Rene Delure and sculptor Bercy. It was originally made for the duc de Chatres. The title of duc de Chartres was given by Louis XIV of France to his nephew, Philippe II d'Orléans, at his birth in 1674. Philippe II was the younger son and heir of the king's brother, Philippe de France, Duke of Orléans.
A program of how best to educate a prince was drawn up exclusively for him by Guillaume Dubois, his preceptor. Each course of study taught the duc de Chartres the “principles” or “elements” of a subject. Some of the best historians, genealogists, scientists and artists in the kingdom participated in this educational experiment, which started around 1689. The globe is from his study of geography and astronomy by Guillaume de L'Isle. Pretty cool to have the best cartographer in France build you a fabulous globe to teach you the basics.