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Brussels, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg.

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Brussels is a very well-known city due to its large number of courtiers, its copious springs, the magnificence of its princely court and its town hall and many other things. And as Ausonius says of his Burdegala: rich with a mild climate and well-irrigated soil. The inhabitants, particularly the women, display their riches through their dress. The most magnificent church is St Gudula's, still distinguished by its college of canons (according to Ha. Barlandus).

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "Brussels, the noblest city in all Brabant, was chosen by the kings as their seat because it has springs that always flow, uplifting hills and healthy air and is very splendid to behold. [...] The royal palace, which lies on a hill with a chapel, was built by Emperor Charles V and is no small embellishment for the city, because there the lords of the Golden Fleece and the councillors meet for joint deliberations with the Governor. [...] A waterway was dug from Brussels in a miraculous manner, at great expense and with a great deal of work, for the benefit of locals and strangers. [...] The canal is over five German miles long. It was begun in 1550 and completed in 1561 to the great admiration of all."

This plan view from a bird's-eye perspective shows an idealized, almost circular view of the city. The picture is dominated on the one hand by the wide streets and the city wall ringed by a moat, and on the other by the navigable River Senne, which enabled ships to dock inside the city using the canal network. Brussels received its charter in 1312 and as early as 1357 built an extensive city wall, enclosing fields and tracts of land within it. When the Dukes of Brabant chose Brussels as their seat of government in 1383, the population had apparently already reached 50,000. At the start of the 15th century the dukes constructed their palace (17). Brussels experienced its greatest flowering from 1430 under Philip the Good: the Hôtel de Ville (51) was built on the Grande Place and artists and craftsmen, manuscript illuminators, sculptors and goldsmiths settled in the city. Pieter Breughel the Elder lived and worked here and in 1569 was burried in Notre-Dame-de-la-Chapelle.

The engraving is made after a plan from Guicciardini (1567), some topographical details may derive from a sketch by Jacob van Deventer (c. 1550). (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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Bruxella, Urbs Aulicorum Frequentia, Fontium Copia, Magnificentia Principalis Aulae ... - Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg, 1572-1624.

€1500  ($1680 / £1350)
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Item Number:  23220
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Belgium - Cities
References: Van der Krogt 4 - 670.2; Taschen, Br. Hog. - p.72

Old map - bird's-eye view plan of Brussels by Braun and Hogenberg, with key to locations.

Date of the first edition: 1572
Date of this map: c.1600

Copper engraving
Size: 33 x 47cm (12.9 x 18.3 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Contemporary old coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 670.2; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.72.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, ... Part 1. Köln, 1572-1624. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.1)

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Brussels is a very well-known city due to its large number of courtiers, its copious springs, the magnificence of its princely court and its town hall and many other things. And as Ausonius says of his Burdegala: rich with a mild climate and well-irrigated soil. The inhabitants, particularly the women, display their riches through their dress. The most magnificent church is St Gudula's, still distinguished by its college of canons (according to Ha. Barlandus).

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "Brussels, the noblest city in all Brabant, was chosen by the kings as their seat because it has springs that always flow, uplifting hills and healthy air and is very splendid to behold. [...] The royal palace, which lies on a hill with a chapel, was built by Emperor Charles V and is no small embellishment for the city, because there the lords of the Golden Fleece and the councillors meet for joint deliberations with the Governor. [...] A waterway was dug from Brussels in a miraculous manner, at great expense and with a great deal of work, for the benefit of locals and strangers. [...] The canal is over five German miles long. It was begun in 1550 and completed in 1561 to the great admiration of all."

This plan view from a bird's-eye perspective shows an idealized, almost circular view of the city. The picture is dominated on the one hand by the wide streets and the city wall ringed by a moat, and on the other by the navigable River Senne, which enabled ships to dock inside the city using the canal network. Brussels received its charter in 1312 and as early as 1357 built an extensive city wall, enclosing fields and tracts of land within it. When the Dukes of Brabant chose Brussels as their seat of government in 1383, the population had apparently already reached 50,000. At the start of the 15th century the dukes constructed their palace (17). Brussels experienced its greatest flowering from 1430 under Philip the Good: the Hôtel de Ville (51) was built on the Grande Place and artists and craftsmen, manuscript illuminators, sculptors and goldsmiths settled in the city. Pieter Breughel the Elder lived and worked here and in 1569 was burried in Notre-Dame-de-la-Chapelle.

The engraving is made after a plan from Guicciardini (1567), some topographical details may derive from a sketch by Jacob van Deventer (c. 1550). (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.