MEXICO CITY: “Environs du Lac Mexique”.
An attractive 18th Century manuscript map of Mexico City and environs.
Place and Year: Manuscript, [mid-18th Century].
Technique: Manuscript, pen and ink on paper (Very Good, seemingly traces of faded original colour, truncated at image border on top, manuscript text on verso), 16.5 x 13.5 cm (6.5 x 5.5 inches).
This nice little gem of a map depicts Mexico City as it appeared before the lake in which rested, Lake Texcoco, was progressively drained (a process that lasted from the 17th to 19th Centuries). Mexico City (formerly Tenochtitlan) is shown to occupy a small manmade island, one of several within the lake, which is connected to the mainland by causeways. The countryside rises above the Valley of Mexico, and features the depiction and several towns and villages.
The present map was once part of a manuscript book (long since disbound), written in a French hand that, by style and content, seems to have been composed during the mid-18th Century. The anonymous draftsman of the map appears to have copied it from a template for maps of Mexico City that commonly appeared in books through the late 17th to mid 18th Centuries. Specifically, the maps seems to bear a particular resemblance to one printed within Francisco Coreal’s, Voyages de François Coreal aux Indes Occidentales (Amsterdam: Chez J. Frederic Bernard, 1738), vol. 1, following page 56. It was then common practice for travellers and scholars to make manuscript copies of printed maps for inclusion in their own sketchbooks.
Availability: In stock