Nicolas Sanson

1600 - 1667

Nicolas Sanson was an outstanding French cartographer, and is considered the founder of the French school of cartography.

Born in Picardy to the family of Scottish descent in 1600, he was educated by the Jesuits at Amiens. When he was only eighteen, the map of Gaul that he began constructing attracted attention of the powerful Cardinal Richelieu. In 1630 Louis XIII appointed him géographe ordinaire de roi. He was a geography teacher to Louis XIV. In 1632 Sanson produced his first important map, the "Postes de France". He died in Paris in 1667 and was succeeded by his two younger sons, Adiren and Guillaume, as royal geographers.

Owing mainly to the Sanson's family efforts in map publishing, the Academie royale des sciences, and the patronage of Louis XIV, the world center of cartography moved from the Netherlands to France in the second half of the seventeenth century.

La Russie blanche ou Moscovie divisée suivant l'estendue des royaumes, duchés, principautés, provinces et peuples qui sont présentement soubs la domination du czar de la Russie cogneu soubs le nom de grand duc de Moscovie.

Paris: H. Jaillot, 1685 (1689 printing.)
G7000 1689 .S26


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A mapp of the estates of the Great Duke of Russia Blanch, or Moscovia.

London, 1669.
G7000 1669 .S3


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