Arrowsmith's wall map of Switzerland and Northern Italy
By ARROWSMITH, Aaron , 1804

Map of the Alpine Country in the South of Europe: By A. Arrowsmith. To Charles Viscount Newark. Baron Pierrepont of Holme Pierrepont L.L.D. This Map is Respectfully Inscribed. By A. Arrowsmith. Hydrographer to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. 1804.

Europe Italy
  • Author: ARROWSMITH, Aaron
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: Published by A. Arrowsmith, No.10 Soho Square
  • Publication date: June 11th, 1804.
  • Physical description: Large engraved map, on four sheets, joined as two, fine original outline hand-colour, fine pictorial title cartouche upper left.
  • Dimensions: 1280 by 1500mm (50.5 by 59 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 1087


This large and detailed map shows the political make-up of North Italy and central Europe at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It most notably marks the newly formed Italian Republic (the vassal state of the French Republic), which would in 1805 become the Kingdom of Italy. The map also depicts Swiss cantons – which were in the process of being reorganised under the guidance of Napoleon.

Aaron Arrowsmith (1750-1823) was the finest cartographer of his generation. Although he received little formal education it is believed that he was taught some mathematical instruction by William Emerson, an author of several books on the application of mathematics to the area of cartography. Around 1770, Arrowsmith moved to London to seek employment. It is believed that he worked for William Faden before joining John Cary Sr. in the early 1780s. There he provided the measurements for John Cary’s early publication detailing the roads from London to Falmouth, his first signed work. Arrowsmith set up on his own n 1790 and over the next thirty years produced some of the most beautiful and elegant maps of the era.


  1. BLMC Maps 23.e.7.