Brazil, which Coast is a Portuguese Possession, Divided into Fourteen Captaincies, Showing the Middle of the Country Inhabited by Many Unknown Peoples


This coastal map of Portuguese Brazil is by one of the greatest of the French cartographers, Nicolas Sanson (1600-67). Sanson gave geography lessons to both King Louis XIII and King Louis XIV. He also was named official geographer to the king, and his two younger sons succeeded him in this position. Until Sanson, the field of cartography was dominated by the Dutch, whose maps favored aesthetics over exactness. Sanson’s maps, notable for accuracy as well as elegance, marked a shift in the dominance of the field of cartography from the Netherlands to France, one that coincided with the decline of Dutch naval prominence and the rise of France as a world power. Unlike the earlier Dutch maps, Sanson’s maps focused heavily on coastlines and continental boundaries.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Chez Pierre Mariette, Paris


Title in Original Language

Le Bresil, dont la Coste est possedée par les Portugais et divisée en quatorze Capitanieres, le Milieu du Pays est habité par un trés grand Nombre de Peuples presque tous Incogneus

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 hand colored map ; 39 x 54 centimeters

Last updated: September 18, 2015