Plan of Paris, known as Turgot’s Map – 1739
Michel-Étienne Turgot (1690-1751), at the head of the Parisian municipality as provost of merchants, decided to commission a new plan of Paris. He entrusted this project to Louis Bretez, who was not a cartographer, but a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts and a professor of perspective. He was asked to make a precise and faithful observation. Bretez had a warrant authorising him to enter hotels, houses and gardens. The draughtsman worked for two years (1734-1736) to represent churches, buildings, fountains, squares and public monuments in elevation. The plan, drawn at a scale of 1:400 (2.49 m × 3.18 m), shows all the buildings. It covers the city and the suburbs of the time, i.e. the current eleven first districts.
In 1736, Claude Lucas engraved the twenty-one plates of the plan, which was not published until 1739. Turgot’s plan was a modern project because of its desire to impose the image of Paris as a universal model of the capital city. It is a real communication operation. The plates were bound into volumes that were widely distributed in France and abroad.
This plan has been reprinted many times – and again in 1989.
But how did they manage to get such precision? See the “satellite” view in the image above compared with the map to see how accurate it is.
Paris. Plan de Turgot. Publication date 1739. Publisher Michel-Etienne Turgot, Paris. SOURCE