DE L'ISLE, Guillaume (1675-1726) - SCHENK, Peter (1645-1715). L'Amerique Meridionale. Amsterdam: Frederick De Wit, c. 1705.
Single sheet, (21 ¼ x 24 ½ inches; 17 ½ x 22 ¾ inches to the neat line; full margins showing the plate mark). Striking engraved map of South America with EXCEPTIONALLY FINE ORIGINAL HAND COLOR IN FULL, the individual territories shown in different bold watercolors of yellow, green, and pink, the Tropic of Cancer and Prime Meridian shown in red, the title in an elaborate historiated title cartouche HEIGHTENED WITH LIQUID GOLD, decorated with a fine compass rose pointing north with a GOLD-ENHANCED FLEUR-DE-LIS, surrounded by a border of yellow wash (slight separation at old central fold not affecting the image, slightly toned).
Fine copper-engraved map with MAGNIFICENT HAND-COLOR IN FULL and LIQUID GOLD HIGHLIGHTS. With the Advertisement, "Ie rends raison dans ma Nouvelle Introduction ala Geographie des changemens que jay faits sur cete carte" ("I acknowledge the changes that I have made on this map in my New Introduction to the Geographie"). Relief is represented pictorially, and the routes of Magellan, Schouten, Medana, Sarmiento, le Maire, Gallego, Olivier, and Drake are shown. Also depicted are the Equator, the Tropic of Capricorn, and the Prime Meridian. Scattered throughout are interesting notes about individual places. For example, "On dit que du Lac des Xarayes sort un fleuve qui va tomber dans le fleuve des Amazones" ("They say that a river flows out from the Lac des Xarayes and flows into the Amazon River") and "Les Brasiliens dissent que les 2 Rivieres de St. Francois et de R. la Real viennent de Rio della plata et courent long temps ensemble" ("The Brazilians say that two Rivers, the St. Francis and la Real, originate from the Rio de la Plata and flow together for a while"). With a beautiful historiated title carouche flanked by two seated figures, one bearing a laurel wreath on his head and the other a wreath of palms, representing the Old and New Worlds coming together. South America is divided into 8 main regions: Nouvelle Espagne (encompassing the southern tip of Central America); Terre Ferme (encompassing the northern part of the continent); Perou; Pays des Amazones; Bresil; Provinces de Rio de la Plata; Chili; and Terre Magellanique.
De l'Isle is widely recognized as the first "scientific" cartographer, incorporating into his maps the most current information (including topography) available based on the latest discoveries. He revolutionized mapmaking, undertaking "a complete reform of a system of geography that had been in force since the second century, and by the time he was twenty five he had very nearly accomplished his purpose" (Brown).