Charles Pertusier (1779-1836) was an officer of the Horse Artillery Regiment of the Imperial Guard. After completing his studies at the École Polytechnique of France, he was sent to Venetian Dalmatia and served as officer of the artillery. In Dalmatia, Pertusier was able to study the local antiquities. He stayed in Istanbul from 1812 to the fall of Napoleon, as military attaché to French ambassador A. Fr. Andréossy. After the Restauration, Pertusier ascended the ranks of the military hierarchy. He was also a fellow of the Societé Géographique of Paris and the Academy of Sciences of Besançon, and a holder of the Légion d'Honneur.
Apart from his remarkable work on Istanbul and its environs, Pertusier composed literary works and political and military studies on the regions adjacent to the Adriatic sea. His description of Istanbul is divided into walks to the monuments and sights of the city. Pertusier includes a wealth on information on the monuments as well as on the religious and ethnic groups which coexisted in the Ottoman capital (by dedicating, for example, several chapters to Phanariot Greeks). His work is one of the most remarkable editions on early 19th century Istanbul.
The Atlas to the text includes plates showing monuments and views of Istanbul. The exquisite engravings are the work of Piringer, while the drawings were made by famous painter, draughtsman and architect M. Fr. Préaulx. Préaulx lived in Istanbul from 1796 to 1827 and worked for several other Western European travellers such as Th. Hope, Lord Elgin, Ed. D. Clarke and Fr. Andréossy. Thus, his drawings illustrate a great number of travel accounts.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou