A hand-written annotation within the blank cartouche at bottom left tells us that this map was purchased by John Evelyn (1620–1706), the famous diarist and print collector. He acquired it in November 1643 in Paris, where he began a Grand Tour of Europe. 23 at the time, Evelyn was one of the earliest Englishmen to embark on the Grand Tour, which was considered an educational rite of passage for young men of noble birth. Travelling the continent, often with a guide or tutor, men like Evelyn would study the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance, collect artefacts and commission paintings along the way. This map was just such a souvenir.
The map is by Jan Ziarnko. It includes an equestrian portrait at top left of Henry VI of France (1553–1610) and the figure of his wife, Marie de Medici, seated on top of the cartouche at bottom left. Henry, who had been assassinated 10 years earlier by a Catholic fanatic, had converted from Protestanism to Catholicism in order to win back Paris and unify France during the Wars of Religion (1562–98).
- Article by:
- Małgorzata Biłozór-Salwa
- Town and city
Małgorzata Biłozór-Salwa explores how maps were used as political tools by successive French rulers: re-issued and re-worked to include royal portraits emphasising their symbolic control over the capital city.