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Mons by Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg 1616

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 an engraver of numerous maps. In 1568 he was banned 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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Item Number:  16462
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Belgium - Cities
References: Van der Krogt 4 - #2817 State 1; Fauser - #9042; Taschen, Br. Hog. - p.2231

Old, antique bird's-eye view plan of Mons, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg.

Date of the first edition: 1851
Date of this map: 1581-88

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 35 x 46.5cm (13.7 x 18.1 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Excellent, superb old colour.
Condition Rating: A+
References: Van der Krogt 4, #2817, state 1; Fauser, #9042; Taschen, Br. Hog., p.231.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum. . Liber tertius. Köln, G. Kempen, 1581-88. (Koeman, B&H3)

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Mons, the powerful and wealthy city in Hainaut, was endowed with imperial privileges by Charlemagne and the River Trulla flows around it; it is well protected by its fortifications and natural setting; the civilized and affluent population trades mostly in livestock.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "It is said that Emperor Charlemagne made Mons his capital and granted it imperial privileges. And he is supposed to have taken its name from its setting, which is namely hilly. Mons has grown substantially in numbers of inhabitants and in buildings in a short space of time. From here, a lively trade is conducted with Frankfurt and Antwerp, above all is a sort of cloth that they call Saye and which is made in the many weaving workshops here. Thanks to its natural setting and its fortifications, it is an extremely secure city, surrounded on all sides by a moat and hence not easy to besiege."

The city of Mons lies on a slight hill beside the River Haine southwest of Brussels. Its surrounding moat and well-fortified ramparts are clearly recognizable. Mons dates back to Roman times, when Caesar erected a military camp on one of its hills during the Gallic Wars. The historical centre gradually spread outwards around a monastery founded in the 7th century by the city's patron saint, Waltrude of Mons. To protect Mons from attack, the Count of Hainaut had a castle erected on top of the hill. Rising from the middle of an open square left of centre is the church of Sainte-Waudru; below it, at the centre of the city, lies the main marketplace with the town hall. Emphasis fall upon the fields and meadows surrounding the city, in reference to the productive local farming and livestock industries. Another sphere of economic activity was weaving; amongst the textiles manufactured in Mons was the famous green Saye, a woolen cloth that derived its name from southern England.

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 an engraver of numerous maps. In 1568 he was banned 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.