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Exhibitions

The Things of Warsaw / Rooms of Plans and Maps of Warsaw

Plan miasta Warszawy Korpusu Inżynierów Wojskowych w skali 1:4800 z 1822 roku, MHW 7718_Pl

Plan of Warsaw by the Military Engineer Corps on a scale of 1 : 4,800

The Military Engineer Corps, which worked on charting the cities on the territories of the Polish Kingdom in the constitutional period (1815–1832, Polish state created by the Congress of Vienna, dependent on Russia, but with its own constitution, Sejm, army and university), carried out precise measurements in Warsaw in the years 1818–1819. On their basis, the engineers of the corps drew up a detailed hand-drawn multi-coloured city plan on a scale of 1 : 2,400, and in 1821 they published in print the first thematic map of Warsaw with the relief represented by means of contour lines (on a scale of 1 : 11,500). In 1822, the same survey served to draw up and publish the first edition of the presented plan, which inaugurated a series continued by the General Staff of the Russian Army until as late as 1859. The plan, similarly to other ones in the series, was a lithographic print on nine sheets. They were published in large scale, initially 1 : 4,800, and later 1 : 4,200. Throughout thirty-seven years, new updated editions were published, which provided a detailed account of the spatial transformations of Warsaw.

The changes could be traced with regard to the networks of streets and their names, housing divided into wooden and brick buildings as well private, government, church and military property divisions, green areas and surface waters – all indicated in the map. The presented copy is hand-coloured which lends it both an aesthetic and cognitive value. The colours used reveal new content, otherwise invisible on the lithographic base.

The plan drawn up by the Military Engineer Corps owes its uniqueness to the continuity of the series that it inaugurates and to the detailed character of cartographic representation. It demonstrates extraordinary artistic value as a hand-coloured lithographic print.

Plan of Warsaw by the Military Engineer Corps on a scale of 1 : 4,800
MILITARY ENGINEER CORPS,
INSCRIPTIONS AND LITHOGRAPHY
BY ALEKSANDER ZAKRZEWSKI
WARSAW; 1825
HAND-COLOURED LITHOGRAPH, PRINT ON NINE SHEETS
MHW 7718/PL
126 × 162 CM

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