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Liège, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg.

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT LEFT: The origins of Liège (Lat. Augusta Eburonum) are traced by Hubertus Thomas Leodius back to Ambiorix, the magnanimous king of the Eburones [...]. There are eight colleges of canons, four splendid abbeys, 32 parish churches, numerous monasteries and nunneries, for which reason Francesco Petrarch has observed that Liège is noted for its clergy. To the south lies a large forest, to the north fertile pastures with vines and fruit and the other necessities of life, watered by clear and lovely streams. The liberal arts are also prized here; no less than nine young kings, 23 dukes, 29 counts and many barons and the children of the nobility have been educated here.

The middle cartouche expresses thanks to the bisshop of Liège, Gerhard von Groesbeck, who provided the original on which the illustration was based.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "There are many cities that are blessed by the Lord in different ways and are praised by all, some for their grain, others for their wine, their iron or copper, others for their beautiful and magnificent city walls and houses, others again for their favourable location on navigable rivers. But Liège surpasses all these cities, for the Lord God has furnished it with all the aforementioned virtues together [...]. I must say as much as possible about the River Meuse, however, for it is not only the city's greatest jewel but also its greatest asset, for of what use to a city are its own riches if it cannot exchange them for other vital necessities from other lands in a sensible manner?"

The magnificently designed engraving of Liège takes up the rapturous tone of Braun's description and shows the city with the Meuse flowing in its favourable location amongst gentle hills, sturdy trees and fertile fields. Presented in spatial depth and exuding a striking sense of animation, it is one of the most successfull landscapes in Braun and Hogenberg's city atlas.
In 1468 Liège was attacked by Charles the Bold and set alight, profoundly altering the medieval face of the city. From the second half of the 15th century onwards much of the city was rebuilt in the contemporary style. The illustration shows the Ourthe flowing into the Meuse and the concentration of buildings in the city centre with its soaring churches and hospices. The cathedral of Saint-Lambert (20), which would later be destroyed in the upheaval of the French Revolution, is impressively documented. The Gothic collegiate church of Saint-Paul (26, centre right) was made Liège's new cathedral. Examples of Romanesque architecture include the collegiate churches of Saint-Denis (right, 28), Saint-Barthélemy (32) and the church of Saint-Martin (far left), which was built in the Gothic style in the early 16th century. (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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Leodium. - Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg, 1612.

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Item Number:  22308
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Belgium - Cities

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

Date of the first edition: 1572
Date of this map: 1612

Copper engraving
Size: 33 x 48cm (12.9 x 18.7 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Uncoloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 2329, State 2 (with privilege); Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.64.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Liber Primus. Cologne, Petrus von Brachel, 1612. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.1(1612))

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT LEFT: The origins of Liège (Lat. Augusta Eburonum) are traced by Hubertus Thomas Leodius back to Ambiorix, the magnanimous king of the Eburones [...]. There are eight colleges of canons, four splendid abbeys, 32 parish churches, numerous monasteries and nunneries, for which reason Francesco Petrarch has observed that Liège is noted for its clergy. To the south lies a large forest, to the north fertile pastures with vines and fruit and the other necessities of life, watered by clear and lovely streams. The liberal arts are also prized here; no less than nine young kings, 23 dukes, 29 counts and many barons and the children of the nobility have been educated here.

The middle cartouche expresses thanks to the bisshop of Liège, Gerhard von Groesbeck, who provided the original on which the illustration was based.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "There are many cities that are blessed by the Lord in different ways and are praised by all, some for their grain, others for their wine, their iron or copper, others for their beautiful and magnificent city walls and houses, others again for their favourable location on navigable rivers. But Liège surpasses all these cities, for the Lord God has furnished it with all the aforementioned virtues together [...]. I must say as much as possible about the River Meuse, however, for it is not only the city's greatest jewel but also its greatest asset, for of what use to a city are its own riches if it cannot exchange them for other vital necessities from other lands in a sensible manner?"

The magnificently designed engraving of Liège takes up the rapturous tone of Braun's description and shows the city with the Meuse flowing in its favourable location amongst gentle hills, sturdy trees and fertile fields. Presented in spatial depth and exuding a striking sense of animation, it is one of the most successfull landscapes in Braun and Hogenberg's city atlas.
In 1468 Liège was attacked by Charles the Bold and set alight, profoundly altering the medieval face of the city. From the second half of the 15th century onwards much of the city was rebuilt in the contemporary style. The illustration shows the Ourthe flowing into the Meuse and the concentration of buildings in the city centre with its soaring churches and hospices. The cathedral of Saint-Lambert (20), which would later be destroyed in the upheaval of the French Revolution, is impressively documented. The Gothic collegiate church of Saint-Paul (26, centre right) was made Liège's new cathedral. Examples of Romanesque architecture include the collegiate churches of Saint-Denis (right, 28), Saint-Barthélemy (32) and the church of Saint-Martin (far left), which was built in the Gothic style in the early 16th century. (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.