1720 Southern Italy Hand Colored Map by Nicolas Sanson

Presented is an original map of the Eastern Part of Italy, circa 1720. The map displays the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, showing the southern half of Italy and much of the Balkans. The map labels the maker as "newly trained by Nicolas Sanson in Amsterdam, Pierre Mortier." The entire map is exquisitely colored and displays the varying kingdoms throughout the southern half of Italy. The map is labeled entirely in French with provinces, towns and seas all marked.

The engraved map focuses heavily on the southern half of the Italian peninsula, from Abruzzo down to the northeastern section of Sicily. Political divisions, towns, cities, rivers, and mountains are shown. The Adriatic Sea and the Croatian coastline are visible, and an inset map at bottom right details a portion of Sicily's southern coastline. Ships, sea monsters, and two compass roses capped with fleur-de-lis are detailed throughout the waters. The map was printed on two sheets, which have been joined. There is a French title above the map, reading: "Qui la Partagent Qui Sont l'Estat de l'Eglise; du Roy-Catholique du Duc de Savoie, du Grand Duche de Toscane, de la Republique de Genes, et de Raguse &c. des Ducs de Piombin, de Masseran, &c."

Nicolas Sanson (1600-1667) was a famous French cartographer and considered the "father of cartography" for his work in advancing geographical studies. Pierre Mortier (1661-1711) was a mapmaker and engraver from the Netherlands who studied under Sanson. Mortier traveled to Paris during the mid 17th century and won the privilege to publish maps and atlases by French cartographers in Amsterdam. This map detailing Italy was produced sometime in the late 17th-early 18th centuries, although the date is not labeled.

This map features wonderful detail with exquisite hand-coloring throughout. The labeled towns and kingdoms are very meticulously done and appear very clearly across the map. The map also features small illustrations of ships in the sea and an elaborate, colored cartouche.


Very good condition overall. Coloring is bright across the entire map. Paper is healthy with no severe markings or obvious wear. The map has been preserved in a custom black frame.

Framed Dimensions: 40 1/2" H x 26 5/8" W

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