Sanderus catalogue

Old antique bird's-eye view plan of Antwerp (Antwerpen) by Braun & Hogenberg, oriented to the West.

Item number:25584
Category:Antique maps > europe > Belgium - Cities
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Price: 2900 Euro ($3422 / £2581)
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Antverpia. - Braun & Hogenberg, 1596.


Spectacular old bird's-eye view plan of Antwerp by Braun and Hogenberg after Georg Hoefnagel, with key to locations.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "The city is in rich possession of that which belongs to the nourishment of the soul and the practice of the Christian religion. For it has 5 parish churches, 9 monasteries and nunneries, 8 chapels, 3 hospices, 24 houses of God. The Franciscan monastery is particularly famous and invested with a magnificent library, which was plundered in the wars gone by, however. [...] In the very centre of the city is a large square called the Bourse, which is lined with magnificent columns supporting the covered colonnade and which is very skilfully vaulted: it looks as if it were panelled in wood. In the colonade there are all sorts of things for sale that are interesting to look at; the merchants meet here every day at certain times to trade their wares."

The two plan views (the first appeared in the 1st volume) show the Belgian port on the River Schelde from a bird's-eye perspective. The eye is struck by the star-shaped citadel built by the Duke of Alba on Antwerp's southern side, the defensive moat and the harbour serving the prosperous centre of commerce. The city centre is clearly recognizable with the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe cathedral (1), its town hall (24) behind it overlooking the Grote Markt and the fish market (17). The north tower of the Gothic cathedral is the city landmark. First mentioned in records in AD 726, Antwerp was granted its charter in 1291 and in 1315 became a Hansa town. The merchants' guilds relocated here and between 1347 and 1496 Antwerp's population grew from 5,000 to 50,000; by 1565 this figure is estimated to have reached 95,000. In the 16th century Antwerp was also an important centre of the arts and home to the leading printer and publisher north of the Alps, Christoffel Plantin. The prosperous metropolis attracted numerous artists (including Jan Brueghel the Elder, Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck). But Antwerp, too, became embroiled in the Wars of Religion, and in 1585, the city was taken by the Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma. Countless Protestant merchants and craftsmen were subsequently driven out of the city, whose importance declined sharply as a result. (Taschen)

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

Copper engraving, printed on two sheets, joined.
Size (not including margins): 45.5 x 78.5cm (17.7 x 30.6 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Original coloured, small reinforcements at fold junctions, else excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 184, state.4; Fauser, 536; Delen, 74; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.431.

From: Urbium Praecipuarum Mundi Theatrum Quintum Auctore Georgio Braunio Agrippinate. Part 5. Köln, 1596/97. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.5)

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