Henri Abraham Chatelain

(1684–1743)

Chatelain family

Huguenot pastor Henri Abraham Chatelain (1684–1743) was born in Paris, but moved across Europe as religious hostilities increased under Louis XIV. Throughout the early decades of the seventeenth century, Chatelain worked with his father, Zacharie (died 1723), and later his son, also Zacharie (1690–1754), to publish a number of influential maps and books. Chatelain’s drafted his own original maps, which conveyed the breadth of his historical and geographical knowledge through their ethnographic, heraldic and cosmographic details. 

From 1705 to 1720, the Chatelain family published the monumental Atlas historique, ou nouvelle introduction à l’histoire, à la chronologie & à la géographie ancienne et moderne’ in seven volumes, which included 285 engraved maps, views, plans, tables, heraldic and genealogical charts. While Henri Chatelain himself was responsible for the plates, the extensive accompanying text was compiled by historian Nicholas Gueudeville-Garillon, and included a supplement by polymath Henri Philippe de Limiers. 

Chatelain based his maps on the work of contemporary and earlier cartographers and travel writers, including Guillaume Delisle and Nicholas Sanson.