Série

At the heart of the maps

The French national library BnF (Bibliothèque Nationale de France) and CNRS Images present "At the heart of maps", a series of fourteen short documentary films on nautical maps, also called portolans. The Bnf holds such rare and little-known documents drawn by hand and dating from the 13th to 17th centuries in its collections. All these, from the oldest known portolan chart - the Pisana Carta - to the Dutch maps of the 17th century, through the sumptuous Miller Atlas, with their wind lines, place names, distance scales, but also coats of arms, real or mythical cities, spices and other exotic riches which are calls of wide horizons and for travel.
These series deciphers every detail and reveals how Europeans viewed the world. It shows the dual role of these maps which were essential for naval mastery and for the dissemination of exploration results in the Age of Discovery.
At the heart of the maps

Ces documents manuscrits, rares et méconnus, datés des XIIIe au XVIIe siècles sont conservés à la BnF. De la plus ancienne connue – la Carte Pisane – jusqu'aux cartes hollandaises du XVIIe siècle, en passant par le somptueux Atlas Miller, lignes de vent, noms de lieux, échelles de distances, mais aussi blasons, villes réelles ou mythiques, épices et autres richesses exotiques nous invitent au voyage. Chaque détail est décrypté et raconte la manière dont les Européens se représentaient le monde.           
Les films témoignent du double rôle de ces cartes, essentielles pour la maîtrise des mers et pour la diffusion des résultats des explorations et grandes découverte

Thématiques scientifiques

CNRS Images,

Our work is guided by the way scientists question the world around them and we translate their research into images to help people to understand the world better and to awaken their curiosity and wonderment.