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Aalst, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg.

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Aalst, a very strong city in Imperial Flanders.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Flanders is today divided into three main parts, namely German, French and Imperial Flanders, the latter being so called because it was formerly subject to the German Empire and under its protection. But this part is also called the County of Aalst, from a town of the same name that is large, hansome, heavily fortified and located at a favourable place on the Dender [...]. This town carries out many commercial activities, but especially it has its trade with hops, a well-known flower that is needed for brewing beer, with which the people of Aalst earn no small income."

This bird's-eye view from the south shows the town's fortifications, which were modernized in 1578. The Gothic church of St Martin can be seen in the middle of the city, and above it to the left is the Grote Markt with the Schepenhuis and Belfort. The castle of Aalst is first recorded in AD 866, and in 1164 the town was granted a municipal charter. From the time Count Baldwin IV of Flanders corporated the County of Aalst east of the Schelde into his domain, the Counts of Flanders owed allegiance to both the French king and the German emperor. After becoming part of the Burgundian dominion under Philip the Bold, Imperial Flanders came into the possession of the Habsburgs through the marriage of Mary of Burgundy to Maximilian I of Austria and passed to the Spanish line after the abdication of Charles V. (Taschen)


Braun G. & Hogenberg F. and the Civitates Orbis Terrarum.

The Civitates Orbis Terrarum, or the "Braun & Hogenberg", is a six-volume town atlas and the greatest book of town views and plans ever published: 363 engravings, sometimes beautifully coloured. It was one of the best-selling works in the last quarter of the 16th century. Georg Braun wrote the text accompanying the plans and views on the verso. A large number of the plates were engraved after the original drawings of Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600), who was a professional artist. The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, the sixth volume in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel created those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were cartographer Daniel Freese, and Heinrich Rantzau. Works by Jacob van Deventer, Sebastian Münster, and Johannes Stumpf were also used. Translations appeared in German and French.

Following the original publication of Volume 1 of the Civitates in 1572, seven further editions of 1575, 1577, 1582, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1612 can be identified. Vol.2, first issued in 1575, was followed by further editions in 1597 and in 1612. The next volumes appeared in 1581, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1606. The German translation of the first volume appeared from 1574 on and the French edition from 1575 on.

Several printers were involved: Theodor Graminaeus, Heinrich von Aich, Gottfried von Kempen, Johannis Sinniger, Bertram Buchholtz and Peter von Brachel, who all worked in Cologne.

Georg Braun (1541-1622)

Georg Braun was born in Cologne in 1541. After his studies in Cologne he entered the Jesuit Order as a novice. In 1561 he obtained his bachelor's degree and in 1562 his Magister Artium. Although he left the Jesuit Order, he studied theology, gaining a licentiate in theology.

Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590)

Frans Hogenberg was a Flemish and German painter, engraver, and mapmaker. He was born in Mechelen as the son of Nicolaas Hogenberg.

By the end of the 1560s Frans Hogenberg was employed upon Abraham Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1570; he is named as engraver on numerous maps. In 1568 he was bannend from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne. There he immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates published from 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Thanks to such large scale projects as the Geschichtsblätter and the Civitates, Hogenberg's social circumstances improved with each passing year. He died as a wealthy man in Cologne in 1590.

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Alostum, Urbs Flandriae Imperatoriae Firmissima. - Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg, 1588-97.

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Item Number:  21594
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Belgium - Cities

Antique map - bird's-eye view plan of Aalst by Braun and Hogenberg.

Copper engraving
Size: 34 x 47.5cm (13.3 x 18.5 inches)
Verso: Blank
Condition: Uncoloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 9, State 1; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.282.

From: Liber quartus Urbium Praecipuarum totius Mundi. Cologne, 1588-97. (Koeman, B&H4, Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.4)

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Aalst, a very strong city in Imperial Flanders.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Flanders is today divided into three main parts, namely German, French and Imperial Flanders, the latter being so called because it was formerly subject to the German Empire and under its protection. But this part is also called the County of Aalst, from a town of the same name that is large, hansome, heavily fortified and located at a favourable place on the Dender [...]. This town carries out many commercial activities, but especially it has its trade with hops, a well-known flower that is needed for brewing beer, with which the people of Aalst earn no small income."

This bird's-eye view from the south shows the town's fortifications, which were modernized in 1578. The Gothic church of St Martin can be seen in the middle of the city, and above it to the left is the Grote Markt with the Schepenhuis and Belfort. The castle of Aalst is first recorded in AD 866, and in 1164 the town was granted a municipal charter. From the time Count Baldwin IV of Flanders corporated the County of Aalst east of the Schelde into his domain, the Counts of Flanders owed allegiance to both the French king and the German emperor. After becoming part of the Burgundian dominion under Philip the Bold, Imperial Flanders came into the possession of the Habsburgs through the marriage of Mary of Burgundy to Maximilian I of Austria and passed to the Spanish line after the abdication of Charles V. (Taschen)


Braun G. & Hogenberg F. and the Civitates Orbis Terrarum.

The Civitates Orbis Terrarum, or the "Braun & Hogenberg", is a six-volume town atlas and the greatest book of town views and plans ever published: 363 engravings, sometimes beautifully coloured. It was one of the best-selling works in the last quarter of the 16th century. Georg Braun wrote the text accompanying the plans and views on the verso. A large number of the plates were engraved after the original drawings of Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600), who was a professional artist. The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, the sixth volume in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel created those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were cartographer Daniel Freese, and Heinrich Rantzau. Works by Jacob van Deventer, Sebastian Münster, and Johannes Stumpf were also used. Translations appeared in German and French.

Following the original publication of Volume 1 of the Civitates in 1572, seven further editions of 1575, 1577, 1582, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1612 can be identified. Vol.2, first issued in 1575, was followed by further editions in 1597 and in 1612. The next volumes appeared in 1581, 1588, 1593, 1599 and 1606. The German translation of the first volume appeared from 1574 on and the French edition from 1575 on.

Several printers were involved: Theodor Graminaeus, Heinrich von Aich, Gottfried von Kempen, Johannis Sinniger, Bertram Buchholtz and Peter von Brachel, who all worked in Cologne.

Georg Braun (1541-1622)

Georg Braun was born in Cologne in 1541. After his studies in Cologne he entered the Jesuit Order as a novice. In 1561 he obtained his bachelor's degree and in 1562 his Magister Artium. Although he left the Jesuit Order, he studied theology, gaining a licentiate in theology.

Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590)

Frans Hogenberg was a Flemish and German painter, engraver, and mapmaker. He was born in Mechelen as the son of Nicolaas Hogenberg.

By the end of the 1560s Frans Hogenberg was employed upon Abraham Ortelius's Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1570; he is named as engraver on numerous maps. In 1568 he was bannend from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne. There he immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates published from 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Thanks to such large scale projects as the Geschichtsblätter and the Civitates, Hogenberg's social circumstances improved with each passing year. He died as a wealthy man in Cologne in 1590.