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Braun & Hogenberg's
Civitates Orbis Terrarum

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[ Location Index | Subject Index | Artists ]


Braun and Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum is one of the most important works from the early days of modern cartography and topographical illustration. Georg Braun, the editor, and Frans Hogenberg, the engraver, worked for over twenty years to produce their "towns of the world," the first systematic depiction of views of cities throughout the world. This impressive production, issued in six volumes from 1572 to 1617, was a monumental piece of Renaissance learning and was designed to complement Ortelius' Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern atlas. These two atlases, both firsts of their type, were in response to a new interest in the nature of the world by the Western European population. This nascent interest was spurred both by the existence of a growing middle class and the relatively new general availability of printed books.

The following prints were issued in Cologne in Braun & Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum. Each is a copper engraving and is in very good condition, except as noted. Page numbers refer to Stephan Füssel, ed. Cities of the World. Köln: 2008.

AlexandriaAlexandria, Egypt
"Alexandria." Volume II; 1575. 14 1/8 x 18 3/4. Latin text. P. 187. Uncolored. $800

AlhamaAlhama, Spain
Georg Hoefnagel. "Alhama." Volume II; 1574. Original hand color. 13 3/8 x 18. Some waviness to paper from color. Latin text on verso.

A view of the small town of Alhama, southwest of Granada, drawn by Georg Hoefnagel in 1563. The town is shown across a valley in a mountainous countryside. Typically, local inhabitants are shown in the foreground, lending cultural interest to this interesting topographical image. $750

ArdalesArdales, Spain
"Hardales" and "Cartama." Volume V; 1598. 14 5/8 x 19 1/4. Latin text. Pp. 357-59. Hand color. $650

BordeauxBordeaux, France
"Civitatis Burdegalensis In Aquitanea." Volume I; 1572. One section of multiple image page; 6 1/4 x 8 3/4. Original hand color. Remargined at top and left. Very good condition.

Despite being but one part of what was originally an multiple image sheet, this is a wonderful view of the important French city of Bordeaux. The city walls are clearly depicted, as is the Roman amphitheater. Along the quay and in the bay are shown numerous trading vessels, no doubt loading Bordeaux's famous wine. $475

BristolBristol, England
William Smith. "Brightstovve, vulgo; quondam venta, floretissimum Angliae Emporium." Volume III; 1588. 13 1/4 x 17 1/8. Original hand color.

This view of the important west England market town of Bristol was drawn by William Smith in 1568. It shows this booming market town straddling the River Avon. $950

CambridgeCambridge, England
"Cantebrigia." Volume II; 1575. 13 x 17 3/4. (image) on sheet 16 x 21. Engraving (hand colored). Full margins. Latin text on back. Some smudging and browning, but overall fine color full and detailed. Ref.: Fussel and Althoff, Catalogue of the City Views, p. 150.

The engraving shows Cambridge from a bird's-eye perspective. In 1209 professors and students from Oxford founded the University of Cambridge, and in 1284 Hugh de Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded the first college, Peterhouse, which is visible on the far right of the engraving. Near the River Cam is one of the best known colleges in the city, King's College, founded by King Henry VI in 1441. King's College Chapel, completed in 1515, is an important example of Gothic architecture. At bottom left is the castle which had been built by the Normans in 1068. It was demolished in the nineteenth century to provide building materials for new colleges. JC OUT ON APPROVAL

CologneCologne, Germany
"Colonia Agrippina." Volume I, 1572. Original hand color. 13 1/4 x 19. Latin text on verso.

An impressive bird's eye view of one of the great urban centers in Europe in the sixteenth century. The streets of Cologne are laid out within the enveloping walls, with many vessels tied to the quay along the Rhine River. Tilled fields surround the city. A cartouche with a classical motif reflects on the Roman history of Cologne, while three figures in contemporary native dress stand in the foreground at left. $1,800

FrankfurtFrankfurt, Germany
"Civitas Francofordiana ad Moenum." Vol. I, 1572. 13 x 18 3/4. Original hand color. Repairs on back to strengthen centerfold, some chipping at edges and old stains. German text on verso.

A lovely plan of Frankfurt am Main, one of the leading commercial cities in Europe in the sixteenth century. $1,200

GhentGhent, Belgium
"Gandavum, Amplissima Flandriae Urbs." Volume I, [1572]-1575. Original hand color. 13 1/4 x 19. French text on verso.

Ghent is located on the confluence of the Schedlt and Lys Rivers; its older name of Ganda comes from the Celtic word for confluence. At the time this print was issued, Ghent was one of the largest and wealthiest cities in northern Europe, though it suffered severely during the religious wars of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. A walled fortress on an island surrounded by a moat is shown at one edge of the sprawling residential city, with each building and church nicely delineated. Of interest are the many windmills shown in the surrounding fields. $750

"Granada." Volume I: [1572]-1574. 13 x 20. Engraving. Full original hand color. Few small spots, one wrinkle near bottom right corner. Very good condition. Text on verso. Framed to archival standards.

This fine view is an excellent example, showing the city of Granada from a road outside of the city, which is nicely pictured at the foot of the surrounding hills. The title cartouche is particularly elaborate and in the foreground are shown local inhabitants, on foot and on horseback, including some "Moroscos," that is Moorish converts to Christianity. In 1711 the city became the capital of a separate Moorish ruled kingdom that lasted until 1492 when Ferdinand and Isabella conquered the region. Those monarchs are buried in the chapel of the cathedral. The engraving is very elaborate, and the rich original color adds an aesthetic element which makes this view as much a decorative masterpiece as it is an historical gem. $1,600

GrenobleGrenoble and Romans-sur-Isère, France
"Gratianopolis" and "Romans Delfinatus" Volume III; 1581. 12 5/8 x 17 1/8. P. 214. Hand color. Tape stain at centerfold. Small puncture top of centerfold. $450

LilleLille, France
"Lille/Insula/Ryssels." Volume III, 1581. 13 x 17. Original hand color. Light waterstain in margin and some wear at lower centerfold. Map expertly conserved and lined.

It shows the city of Lille (Ryssel in Flemish), which was the medieval capital of Flanders and the residence of the Dukes of Burgundy during the 16th century. The town, clearly presented as the island after which it was named, is laid out neatly from above, surrounded by fields. Three costumed figures stand in the foreground besides a numbered key in an elaborate cartouche. Two crests in the upper corner complete the artistic elements of the image. $850

MiddelburgMiddelburg, Netherlands
"Middelburrgum, Sclandiae." Volume II, 1575. 12 1/4 x 13 3/4. Original hand color. With a number of repaired holes and block of browning on right half. Expertly conserved.

With a number of repairs and darkening to the right half, but still a wonderful sixteenth century view of Middelburg. $225

"Palacios"/"Alcanerilla"/"Cabeças." 1588. Volume V. Pages 356-7. Engraving (hand colored) 14 1/2 x 19 3/8. Some wear in margins. Very good condition.

A lovely view of three towns in Spain, based on drawings by George Hoefnagel in 1565. An added and important feature of this set of views is the figure of Georg (Joris) Hoefnagel (1542-1600) shown sketching the city and landscape of Cabecas in 1565. See Fussel and Althoff Catalogue of the City Views (Taschen) pp. 28 and 356-7. The three cities are: Los Palacios Villafranca, Las Alcantarillas and Las Cabezas de San Juan. An exceptional insight to show the artist. $1,200

ParisParis, France
"Lutetia vulgari nomine Paris." Vol. I, 1572. 13 3/8 x 19 (image) plus full margins. Engraving (hand colored). French text. Bright colors. Fine condition. Ref.: Fussel and Althoff. Catalogue of the City Views. Pp. 61-63.

Lutetia, commonly known as Paris, is the largest city in France and has the navigable Seine flowing around it and through it. With the nobility, merchants, an excellent university, the stupendous church of Notre Dame, the royal palace and other outstanding buildings, with a judiciary and most beautiful epitaphs, it is pictured as a most flourishing city. $4,200

PerugiaPerugia, Italy
"Pervsia." Volume IV; 1588. 14 1/4 x 17. Latin text. P. 327. Hand color. $600

PlonaPlon, Germany
Henry Ranzovii. "Urbs Holsatiae Plona." Vol. V, 1598. 14 1/4 x 19 1/4. Original hand color. Some repaired wear and small hole at top centerfolod. Overall, very good condition. Latin text on verso.

Plon was an important town in northern Europe, for almost two centuries (including when this print was made) the seat of the Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plon. $750

RomeRome, Italy
"Roma." Volume I; 1572. 13 x 18 7/8. Latin text. Pp. 114-15. Hand color. Shows the city circa 1550. $1,600

RostockRostock, Germany
"Rostochium Urbs Vandalica Anseatica et Magapolitana." Vol. V, 1598+. 13 3/4 x 18 3/4. Strong and attractive original color. Very narrow margins top and bottom, and trimmed to border at sides, with minor chipping. Archival backing to provide strength. Overall very good condition. Latin text on verso.

Costumed typed citizens of Rostock, in the former East Germany, stand in the foreground. The Warnow River with ships and boats is in the mid-ground, and the city in profile is in background with many particular buildings identified. $750

Sneeck et alSneeck/Sloten/Doccum/Ylst, Netherlands
"Sneecha. vulgo Sneeck Frisiæ Occidentalis Oppidum"/ "Sloten"/ "Doccum"/ "Ylstæ." Volume IV, 1588. Original hand color. 13 3/4 x 16 1/4. Minor repaired tears at edges. Latin text on verso.

Plans of these four small Dutch towns appear in separate panels, along with two Dutch couples in local dress. $650

Szczecin, PolandSzczecin, Poland
"Alten Stettin." Volume IV; 1581. 13 1/4 x 18 3/4. Engraving. Original hand color. Old Arabic manuscript writing in margins.

This view shows the city of Szczecin in Poland (called Stettin for much of its history). This city, a major port near the mouth of the Oder River, was an ancient settlement of considerable mercantile importance, joining the Hanseatic League in 1360. The city changed hands many times over the years, finally being assigned to Poland at the Potsdam Conference in 1945. This image shows the booming city from above, the Oder river teeming with ships and the major buildings and homes of the city clearly laid out and many labeled. Also with Arabic script in the margins. $850

tangierTangier, Safi, Ceuta, Asilah & Salé, Africa.
"Tangiara" "Tzaffin" "Septa" "Arzilla" "Sala." Volume I; 1572. 13 x 18 3/4. Latin text. P. 123. Hand color. Five North African cities. $650

Tournay,BelgiumTournay, Belgium
"Tornacum." Vol. IV, circa 1588+. 14 1/4 x 17. Original hand color. Repairs on back to strengthen centerfold and a few short tears. Browned. Latin text on verso.

A plan of Tournay located in southwest Belgium on the Schelde, forty miles southwest of BrusselsThis view has a key with thirty landmarks identified, especially the town's beautiful cathedrals. $450

ViennaVienna, Austria and Budín, Hungary.
"Vienna." and "Buda." Volume II; [1575-]1617. 12 1/4 x 18 3/4. French text. Pp. 96-98. Hand color. $1,500

YpresYpres, Belgium.
"Hypra Flandriarum." Volume II; 1575. 13 1/2 x 12 5/8. Latin text. Pp. 148-149. Hand color. N. W. Belgium (Flanders) cloth weaving. $650


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