Rigobert Bonne; 1729-1793.
Bonne, a trained mathematician, was appointed Hydrographer
to the King. He took over the responsibility of the french
hydrographic institute ("Dépôt de la Marine") after the death
of Bellin in 1772. This position enabled Bonne to the unequaled
access to prime mapping data, which he could use successfully
for his own private business interests.
He followed in the steps of the french school of cartographic
minutiae and geographic accuracy. As such he produced, often
in collaboration with other mapmakers, a large number of excellent
His name is generally associated with a type of equal area
projection he often used after 1757.
Of note, his 1776 "Atlas Moderne". But he is most well known
for the wealth of maps he prepared for Guillaume Thomas François
Raynal's "Atlas de toutes les parties connues du globe terrestre"
(1780), and also for Nicolas Desmaret*'s "Atlas Encyclopédique"
(1787, re-issued in 1827).
Desmaret: of engineering fame for the first recorded design
of a tunnel between France and England in 1751.
Carte du Paraguay et partie des pays adjacants.
Bonne migth have produced this large map (12 7/16" X 16
11/16") for his 1767 "Atlas Maritime".
It describe one of the spanish colonial administrative area:
the "vice kingdom" of Paraguay.
Of little interest to the spaniards, Paraguay was pretty much
left to fend for itself. In 1617, its settlers elected to
split the area in two: Paraguay proper with Asuncion as capital,
and Rio de la Plata with Buenos Ayres as main town.
Notice the well documented layout of the river system, and
the push of Brazil towards the mouth of the river Plate.
Also notice between the Parana and the Brazil border, the
mission river, and the mission names. Same along the rivers
north of Santa Fe. To protect and convert the Guarani indians,
the Jesuits, due to the power vacuum left by the weak Asuncion
government, evolved a complex system of thirty quasi independent
"republics" which thrived between 1650 and 1767 (year when
the Jesuits were expulsed from the area).
Notice in the cartouche, Bonne in 1771 is only a "math teacher'.
A year later he will become the head of the french "depot
de la marine", the leading cartographic institution of the
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