Jan Baptist Elwe


Artist Biography:

The Dutch publisher Jan Barend Elwe flourished between 1785 and 1809. He was a bookseller and publisher who reproduced a small number of maps which largely drew from the work of other cartographers. His famous map Amerique Septentrionale Divisee en ses Principales Parties was derived mainly from Sanson’s and Jaillot’s maps of 1656 and 1676 respectively. By this time, California was no longer shown as an island, but as a peninsular, and the Great Lakes to the north are enclosed, which was another feature often shown incorrectly on earlier maps of America. For this map, Elwe appears to have acquired the plate used by Ottens and revised it slightly. He published the result in his 1792 Folio Atlas, printed in Amsterdam, which included 37 different maps. Elwe also published beautiful double hemisphere world maps, and other maps as well, all meticulously re-engraved to include his name.

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