Jacques-Nicolas Bellin

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Carte réduite de l'océan septentrional… , from Bellin's atlas L'hydrographie françoise , Paris 1766

Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (* 1703 in Paris , † March 21, 1772 in Versailles ) was a French cartographer, engineer-geographer, hydrographer in the Navy. As a contributor to the Encyclopédie , he wrote more than a thousand articles on maritime topics.

life and work

As a cartographer, Bellin distinguished himself primarily in the field of sea cartography. From 1721 he worked for the Dépot des Cartes et Plans de la Marine , from 1741 until his death as an engineer-hydrograph of the Navy. In 1753 his atlas Neptune français , which covered all the coasts of France, was published, and in 1756 the hydrography françoise, which concerns all seas of the earth . In 1764 the five-volume Petit Atlas maritime was published , which Bellin prepared on the orders of the Minister of the Navy, Choiseul . In addition, he wrote a number of geographical works and with Nouvelle méthode pour apprendre la geographie (1769) a geographic textbook for teaching. His maps illustrated, among other things, Bougainville's work Voyage autour du monde , published in 1771 .

As a co-author of the Encyclopédie edited by Diderot and d'Alembert , Bellin wrote more than a thousand articles in the field of shipping and navy; his contributions are marked with "(Z)".

Articles in the Encyclopédie (selection)

Independent works (selection)

  • Neptune français (1753)
  • French hydrography (1756)
  • Tableau des pavillons ou banniéres que la pluspart des nations arborent à la mer: Fait au Depôt des Cartes et Plans de la Marine pour le Service des Vaissaux du Roy . (1756). Digitized edition of the University and State Library Düsseldorf
  • Petit Atlas maritime (1764)
  • New method for apprendre la geography (1769)


  • Bellin, Jacques-Nicolas . In: Frank Arthur Kafker: The encyclopedists as individuals. A biographical dictionary of the authors of the Encyclopédie . Voltaire Foundation at the Taylor Institution, Oxford 1988, ISBN 0-7294-0368-8 , ( SVEC 257), pp. 29-31.
  • Bellin, Jacques-Nicolas . In: Étienne Taillemite: Dictionnaire des marins français . Nouvelle édition revue et augmentée. Tallandier, Paris 2002, ISBN 2-84734-008-4 .
  • Alain Morgat: Du Neptune françois au Pilote français. Les atlas nautiques avant 1850 , available online from the Service historique de la Défense of the French Ministry of Defense.

Web links

Wikisource: Jacques-Nicolas Bellin  - Sources and full texts (French)
Commons : Jacques-Nicolas Bellin  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Frank A. Kafker: Notices sur les auteurs of dix-sept volumes de "discours" de l'Encyclopédie. Recherches sur Diderot et sur l'Encyclopédie (1989) Volume 7 Issue 7 p. 129
  2. Jean-Marc Garant: Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703–1722), cartographe, hydrographe, engineer du ministère de la Marine: sa vie, son oeuvre, sa valeur historique. Thèse (MA, Histoire), Montréal (1973)