Jacques Nicolas Bellin; 1703-1772.
A first rank cartographer, Bellin worked for some fifty
years at the French Hydrographic Service (Dépôt de la Marine);
which he ran till his death.
His career was mainly devoted to charting and mapping coastlines,
harbors, sea lanes. Most of his publications were related
to nautical matters: maps for "Histoire Générale des Voyages"*
between 1747 and his death, "Atlas Maritime" in 1751, "Neptune
François" in 1753, "Petit Atlas Maritime" in 1764.
He is known to have used informations from the best fellow
cartographers of his time, to complement the in-land parts
of his maps, notably: Guillaume Delisle and Jean-Baptiste
Bourguignon d'Anville. Fame, enormous output and fastidious
quality of work, earned him the appointment of "Hydrographer
to the King" by Louis XV of France. He was also a member of
the Royal Society in London.
* A work of encyclopedic size first publishedin 1747 by Antoine
François Prévost d'Exile. Later remodelings till 1789 incorporated
some two hundred new maps (quite a few by Bellin), and other
authors travel writings (e.g.: Gmelin's "Voyage au Kamchatka
par la Sibérie" in volume 25 in 1779).
Carte du Paraguay et des pays voisins,.
This quintessential map (12 1/4" X 8 1/8") was engraved
for the 1756 issue of "Histoire Générale".
It shows two remarkable items:
. The extant of "Paraguay", see the frontier doted line:
-West: off Buenos Aires, to the Andes, then angling towards
-East: ending on the Atlantic coast north of Montevideo.
. The amazing number of "Reductions or Indian villages", specially
along the Parana River, the Uruguay River, and on the "Border"
with Brazil. Between 1609 and 1767, the Jesuit fathers had
developed an extremely successful system of missions (or reductions)
where the Guarani Indians could live in peace and prosper.
No text on verso.