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Antique map with two views of Venice - San Marco, by Braun and Hogenberg

Item number:24192
Category:Antique maps > europe > italy
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Augusti apud Venetos Templi D: Marci Accuratissima Effiguratio [on sheet with] Palatii Senatorii apud Venetos conflagratio Anno MDLXXVII - Braun & Hogenberg, 1623.


Old map with two views of Venice - San Marco, by Braun and Hogenberg after G. Hoefnagel.

 

Mappa antica con due vedute di Venezia - San Marco, di Braun e Hogenberg (G. Hoefnagel).


TRANSLATION OF CAPTION BOTTOM LEFT: Most accurate picture of the majestic Venetian church of St Mark.

SIGNED AND DATED BOTTOM CENTRE: Painted by Georg Hoefnagel, who saw it himself. In the year 1578.

CAPTION BOTTOM RIGHT: The fire at the Venetian Doge's palace in 1577.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "St Mark's church is built of magnificent marble, skilfully and exquisitely inlaid with porphyry and other wonderful stones; the walls are clad with marble. [...] In this church, which can be considered the most splendid in all Christendom, stand 36 columns of the best marble, of a considerable height, two feet thick. [...] Behind the altar stand alabaster columns, each two paces apart, as transparent as glass. The altar is adorned with a very beautiful panel of gold and silver inlaid with many pearls of inestimable value. [...] Above the large entrance portal (which has five doors altogether, of which two are open every day, the other two on feast days, but the fifth remains always shut) stand four beautiful gilt horses of copper or metal, like a Turkish horse in shape and size, quite wonderful to see. These are supposed to have been brought here from Constantinople, when it was taken by the Venetians."

On the left we look across the piazza to the cathedral of San Marco, the Campanile dell'Orologio clock tower (left) and the Campanille bell tower (right). Our eye is thereby guided to the magnificent façade of the San Marco with its five portals; the four of the cathedral's five roof domes visible here are clearly indebted to Byzantine architecture.Above the central portal are the four horses of San Marco, the only surviving quadriga from Antiquity. The quadriga originally stood on the Arch of Nero in Rome but was taken by Constantine to Constantinople, where it was seized ad booty in 1204 and transported to Venice. The right-hand scene shows the view of the Piazetta from the Grand Canal, with the Biblioteca Marciana on the left, the Campanile dell' Orologio in the centre, San Marco to the right and the burning Doge's palace on the far right. The raging fire is convincingly depicted in all its drama, with rescue forces arriving from all sides to tackle the blaze. Troops are waiting on the left even as a gallet lands additional forces in the right-hand foreground; in the centre rescue workers are trying to dowse the wooden panelling that is being flung out of the palace, some of it still in flames. The seat of the Doge and the council of the Venetian Republic from the 9th century, the Doge's palace was rebuilt between the 13th and the 15th century in a style that determined the harmonious face of St Mark's square. It was destroyed by fire on a number of occasions, including in 1577, the year that Hoefnagel visited Italy and witnessed this catastrophe at first hand. (Taschen)

Date of the first edition: 1596
Date of this map: 1623

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 36.5 x 49cm (14.2 x 19.1 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Original coloured, lower centrefold split reinforced.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 4627; Fauser, #14732 & #14736; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.417.

From: Urbium Praeipuarum Mundi Theatrum Quintum Auctore Georgio Braunio Agrippinate. Part 5. Köln, Petrus von Brachel, 1623. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.5)

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