Saturday, November 10, 2012

Turgot Map of Paris 2

Becket, November 10, 2012

As I told you yesterday, the Turgot map of Paris has an incredible amout of detail.  What in the Stockdale map (the 1800 English map I wrote about before) are hatched blocks, here appear as carefully rendered buildings, drawn one by one with minute detail.  There are many rows of individual narrow buildings with pitch roofs facing the street.  Almost as many ribbons of buildings with pitched roofs parallel to the street.  The blocks are compact, with very small courtyards.  The overall mass is four-to-six stories high, the ground level with larger openings and the roofs with dormers and other small windows indicating an extra habitable level.  Blocks tend to be rectangular, some very narrow and elongated, others much wider.  The streets appear narrow and straight, mostly forming a grid pattern.  There are some larger open spaces inside wider blocks, some simply leftovers and others formalized as courtyards.  The fabric is dotted with monumental buidings, churches, etc. with distinctive profiles but still embeded in the overall mass of the blocks.

The draftman of the Turgot map was a certain Louis Bretez, that took two years--from 1734 to 1736--to measure buildings and open spaces and to draw the 21 sheets (twenty depicting the different areas of the city and one with a more schematic overal view) of the map.  After Bretez completed his work, the engraver Claude Lucas produced brass plates for printing.  The bound volumes of the Turgot map were first published in 1739.  The plates are kept in the Louvre and are still used for ocassional re-printing.

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