Starting tomorrow (April 20), I will begin posting a new multi-part series on “Adam Smith in Paris, 1766.” In the meantime, pictured below is one part of a 1739 map of Paris known as the “Turgot Map.” Among other things, the left side of this beautiful fragment shows the famed Île de la Cité — the island on the River Seine where such landmarks as the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Pont Neuf are located.
Also, this fragment is part of a much larger map of Paris, which was commissioned in 1734 by Michel-Etienne Turgot, the provost of the merchants of Paris, a position roughly equivalent to that of the present-day Mayor. Turgot selected Louis Bretez, a member of the Academy of Painting and Sculpture, to prepare a new printed map to record and promote the city of Paris. Bretez and his assistants then spent more than two years making detailed, measured studies of the buildings and other landmarks of Paris for this project. The final (1739) version of the Turgot/Bretez map was executed on a scale of approximately 1:400. More details about this map are available here, via Wikipedia, and here, via the Princeton University Library.