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Leuven (Louvain) by Braun & Hogenberg.

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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Loeven - Lovanium, Brabanticarum urbium caput, unica Musarum ac praestantissimorum artium sedes, optatissimimque domicilium., 1599.

€800  ($936 / £720)
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Item Number:  25895
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Belgium - Cities
References: Van der Krogt 4 - 2319 State 1; Fauser - 7588; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg - p.216

Old map - bird's-eye view plan of Louvain (Leuven) by Braun and Hogenberg.

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Louvain, capital of Brabant, unrivalled site of the muses and the most distinguished arts and sciences; a highly desirable place of residence.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "Louvain is the capital of Brabant and an important city of trade, but also the seat of learned men and the Liberal Arts. It was established around the year 1422 by John, Duke of Brabant, and is a large and liberal city. Inside the city walls it also has open meadows, vineyards, other large gardens, arable fields, orchards, fields, bushes, forest and pastures and very sizeable woods for walking in. There is virtually nowhere better suited to accommodate the muses and scholarship than this city."

Seen from a detailed bird's-eye perspective, Louvain appears less organized within its circular boundary than other cities and is criss-crossed by a network of labyrinthine medieval streets. Few prominent buildings are documented; only the church of Sint-Pieter on the large marketplace opposite the late Gothic town hall can be easily recognized at the centre. The aerial view clearly reveals the double city wall: while the inner wall surrounds the historical centre, the outer wall encloses not only streets and houses but also undeveloped fallow areas, fields and vineyards. The origin of the city's name is disputed: one theory claims that the name was created from the combination of the words woods (lo) and marsh (ven). From AD 870 Louvain was the capital of a county that was elevated to a duchy in 1183. Conveniently located on the ancient Roman road that linked Boulogne-sur-Mer, Bavay, Tongeren and Cologne, Louvain was constituted a centre of cloth manufacturing in the Middle Ages. Despite intermittent economic problems from the mid-14th century onwards, the city was one of the centres of humanism during the Renaissance, in 1425 the distinguished University of Louvain was founded. (Taschen)

Date of the first edition: 1581
Date of this map: 1599

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 35 x 49cm (13.7 x 19.1 inches)
Condition: Original coloured, lower centrefold split reinforced.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 2319, State 1; Fauser, 7588; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.216.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum. Liber tertius. Köln, Bertram Buchholtz, 1599. (Koeman, B&H3)

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.