Joseph de Ferraris

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Joseph Jean François, count de Ferraris (Lunéville, April 20, 1726 – Vienna, April 1, 1814) was an Austrian general and cartographer.

Bruges on the Ferraris map

Between 1771 and 1778, Ferraris was commissioned by the empress Maria Theresa of Austria and emperor Joseph II to create a detailed Carte-de-Cabinet of the Austrian Netherlands. The maps were made on a scale 1:11,520 and formed a collection of 275 hand-colored and hand-drawn maps 0,90 × 1,40 m each. These were accompanied by twelve volumes of handwritten commentaries relating to topics of economic and military interest (rivers, bridges, forests, possibilities for military camps, etc.)

Three originals of the maps remain. One is in the Kriegsarchiv in Vienna, one is in the Rijksarchief in The Hague and the third one remains in the Royal Library of Belgium in Brussels. The maps held in Brussels were the maps destined for Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine, the Governor of the Austrian Netherlands, and were transferred to Belgium by Austria in 1922 as part of the World War I reparations.

In 1777 and 1778, Ferraris issued a reduced version of the cabinet maps with a scale of 1:86,400 in 25 maps, issued for commercial sale ("carte marchande").

The Ferraris maps were used to great extent during the military operations of the French Revolutionary Wars and during the Napoleonic Wars.

Trivia[edit]

  • The Brussels-based Flemish government building, housing parts of the Flemish ministry of Environment, Nature and Energy and the Flemish Ministry of Mobility and Public Works is named Graaf de Ferrarisgebouw after him.

External links[edit]