JANSSONIOUS, JOANNES (1588-1664). “Flandria Gallica Continens Castellanias”. Amsterdam: J. Janssonius, c 1633.
A stunning detailed map of the French part of Flanders, including Douay, Lille, Doornick, Conde, St. Amand by the famed Joannes Janssonious. The map exhibits accuracy, detail, and embellishments which are synonymous with the height of Dutch cartography during the 17th century. A title cartouche sits in the lower left, surrounded by cherubs holding the coat of arms and a symbolic female presumably representing France.
Once a part of ancient and medieval Francia since the inception of the Frankish kingdom (descended from the Empire of Charlemagne) under the Merovingian monarchs such as Clovis I, who was crowned at Tournai, Flanders gradually fell under the control of the English and then Spanish. When French national military power returned under the Bourbons with King Louis XIV "The Sun King" (1638-1715), a part of historically French Flanders was returned to the Kingdom.
The region now called "French Flanders" was once part of the feudal state County of Flanders, then part of the Southern Netherlands. It was separated from the county (part of Habsburg's Burgundian inheritance) in 1659 due to the Peace of the Pyrenees, which ended the French-Spanish conflict in the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), and other parts of the region were added in successive treaties in 1668 and 1678. The region was ceded to the Kingdom of France, and became part of the province of Flanders and Hainaut. The bulk became part of the modern French administrative Nord departément, although some western parts of the region, which separated in 1237 and became the County of Artois before the cession to the French, are now part of Pas-de-Calais.
This map of a part of Walloon province of Belgium in the centre is Lille. In 1667, Louis XIV of France successfully laid siege to Lille, resulting in it becoming French in 1668 - almost 20 years after this map was produced!
This map is a part of Visscher’s compiled Atlas Minor siue Geographia Compendiosa, Qua Orbis Terrarum, per paucas attamen novissimas tabulas ostenditu.
The Atlas Minor is a fine and comprehensive composite atlas, and one of a series of large atlases compiled and sold by the Visscher family of art dealers and cartographers in the 17th century. Founded by Nicholas Visscher, this work is known for the high quality of engraving, exceptionally fine ornament, and accurate geographical information. No two of the Visscher atlases seem to have been identical in content, and most contain, like this one, a selection of maps by the Visschers themselves as well as other cartographers. In this case the majority of the maps are published by Visscher. In addition to the striking world map by Allard with its black background and numerous projections, and found in the "Atlas Major" from about 1705, there are maps of the continents, regional maps of Europe, ten maps of Asia, and seven maps related to America.