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Parys: Matthäus Merian 1654

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  • Title: Parys
  • Author: Matthäus Merian
  • Date: 1654
  • Medium: Hand-colored copperplate engraving
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Inches: 17 1/2" x 13 3/4"
  • Centimeters: 44.87 x 35.26
  • Product ID: 003517

Lovely Plan in Elevation of the City of Paris

The plan is printed on the diagonal, with north in the bottom right.  Scale approximately 1/15,000.  Hospitale de S.Louis, founded by King Henry IV (1553–1610), King of France and Navarre, in 1607 to relieve the Hôtel-Dieu de Paris during the plague, shown to the lower left, just outside the vast but now long-vanished fortifications of Etienne Marcel.  Across the city to the southeast The Bastille overlooks the Canal Saint-Martin.  Notre Dame is just left of center, the Louvre Palace and the Tuileries gardens to the west.  The plan continues across the Seine to the left-bank and the open countryside beyond.

Matthaus Merian the Elder was born in Basel, Switzerland on the 22nd of September 1593. He began his career in the arts with the engraver Friedrich Meyer in Zurich, where he studied copper engraving as well as drawing. In 1619 he went to Frankfurt and was employed by the well-known publisher Johann Theodor de Bry. He would go on to take over and complete two works started in 1590 by de Bry, Grand Voyages and Petit Voyages respectively. Merian the Elder is perhaps most known for the work he produced in partnership with Martin Zeiller titled Topographia, one of the largest publishing works at the time, which ultimately totaled 21 volumes. The work was continued by Merian’s sons Matthaus the Younger and Caspar upon his death in June of 1650.

Reference; Jean Boutier, Les Plans de Paris..., #89