Sanderus catalogue

Antique map with two bird's-eye views of Urbino and one of Sulmona, by Braun and Hogenberg

Item number:24126
Category:Antique maps > europe > Italy - Cities
Price: 420 Euro ($487.2 / £365.4)
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Urbino - Sulmo Ovidii Patria - Braun & Hogenberg, 1599.

Antique map with two bird's-eye views of Urbino and one of Sulmona, by Braun and Hogenberg.


COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "But afterwards, under Pope Sixtus IV, the city of Urbino was elevated from a county to the status of a duchy because of the magnificent gifts made to it by Federico and his admirable virtues. For he was a wise, eloquent and learned man: he loved witty men, was fortunate in war, in peace congenial, greatly esteemed by the Italian princes and loved and treasured by his own subjects. He adorned the city of Urbino with magnificent houses, chief among them the stately building in which he also had a vast library installed, which he provided with large numbers of the very best books that were, moreover, bound and decorated in gold, silver and silks."

This simplified representation of Urbino has been reduced to essentials and consists of two views. Seen from the southwest in the upper of the two pictures is the Palazzo Ducale built into the slope. Directly behind it appears the tower of the cathedral. In the foreground is the Porta Valbona, with the main axis of the city leading to the 14th-century church of San Francesco and, therefore, to the centre of the Old Town. Urbino is seen from the opposite direction, northeast, in the lower picture, with the Porta Lavigne in the foreground. Founded by the Romans, Urbino was a fief of the Counts of Montefeltro, who ruled Urbino from 1444 to 1482. A committed advocate of humanism, Frederico was an ardent patron of the arts and sciences and his court, at which he assembled Italy's leading artists and scholars, was one of the most brilliant of the era. Urbino is celebrated today as the birthplace of the painter Raphael, whose father participated in that flowering of cultural history by being in Frederico's employ.


CARTOUCHE: Sulmona, Ovid's birthplace.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Sulmo, a town of the Bruttii in the territory of the Paeligni, was originally called Solymum [...]. In the present day, however, it is called Sulmona, as Leander wrote, and is the birthplace of the venerated poet Ovidius Naso, as he himself attests in his verses: "My home is Sulmo, abounding in cool waters, nine times ten miles distant from Rome". [...] The city of Sulmona is celebrated especially for its beauty, the number of its inhabitants and its superabundance of water."

The city, surrounded by 14th-century fortifications, is seen in bird's-eye from the northwest. In the lower centre are the church and palace of Santissima Annunziata, above which is San Francesco della Scarpa with the Portale di San Francesco. Immediately above this is the church of Santa Maria della Tomba, which was built on the site of the temple to Jupiter. The inscription to the left refers to this temple and, like the cartouche, discloses the reason why this particular city was included in the present work: as the birthplace of the Roman poet Ovid (b. 43 BC), Sulmona was a name all Renaissance humanists revered. (Taschen)

Copper engraving
Size: 33 x 46.5cm (12.9 x 18.1 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Uncoloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 4537; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.331.

From: Liber quartus Urbium Praecipuarum totius Mundi. Cologne, Bertram Buchholtz, 1599. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.4(1599))

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