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York - Shrewsbury - Lancashire - Richmond, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. 1617

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 of 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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Yorke [on sheet with] Shrowesbury [and] Lancaster [and] Richmont.

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Item Number:  22123
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > British Isles

Old map with four city plans by Braun & Hogenberg: city plans of York, Shrewsbury and Lancashire + a view of the castle of Richmond.

On each side of the four views are four figures in historical dress: Briton / Roman / Saxon / Dane; king and queen / English nobles / English burghers / English peasants.

The four views are engraved after views published by Speed in his atlas "The theatre of the empire of Great Britaine, 1611".

YORK

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "After London this is the most distinguished city in the whole of England. [...] It is a large and splendid city with an abundance of people and goods, well protected by walls and ramparts and embellished with fine houses and buildings. [...] There William the Norman built a mighty castle, which is now falling into decay. [...] Towards the Ouse was a monastery called St Mary's, which has been converted into a royal palace and used for worldly purposes."

This view of York, depicted in the manner of a town plan, indicates that north is at the top. The minster (S. Peters) stands out, together with the Benedictine abbey of St Mary, which had stood empty since the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536 and was falling into decay. The Council of the North had its seat in the former house of the abbot. The Gothic Minster, England's biggest cathedral, was completed in 1472. The castle can be seen at the confluence of the Ouse and the Foss. York, under the name Eboracum, was once the capital of the Roman province of Brittannia Inferior, and in the Middle Ages it was a flourishing centre in the north of England as a trade city and an episcopal see, but its importance declined after the 15th century.

SHREWSBURY

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "This city belongs to the County of Wiltshire. According to Camden, it is the old Sorbiodunum mentioned in the Itinerarium Antonini. But it used to be at another place, where today the village of old Shrewsbury is. That the inhabitants left the Old Town is said to be due to the lack of water. After the town had been moved, Bishop Richard began to build a most splendid church, which was fully completed within 40 years."

This plate, which indicates that north is at the top, neatly depicts the city of Shrewsbury in central England, which can be deduced from the names of the streets, the city gates and its characteristic position in a meander of the River Severn. But the text refers to the southern English episcopal city of Salisbury, which due to lack of water was moved about 3 km from Old Sarum to the banks of the Avon in 1220 under the aegis of Bishop Richard Poore; the cathedral was begun in the same year, and consecrated in 1258.

LANCASTER

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "According to Camden's account, this city was known in Roman times. [...] Today there are not many fine buildings, with the exception of the castle, the church and the bridge. The castle lies on a hill of the same name, and is not very big, but handsome and well fortified. Not far from it, where the hill is steepest, part of an old wall can be seen, which based on its appearances was erected by the Romans."

Lancaster, mentioned for the first time in 1086, is shown from the south in a bird's-eye perspective. The only recognizable buildings are the Norman castle (The Castel) and the priory church of St Mary. Lancaster was probably included because the castle was the seat of the ruling House of Lancaster, which fought the House of York for the throne in the Wars of the Roses in the 15th century.

RICHMOND PALACE

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "As a princely palace Richmond was formerly called Sheen. [...] Under King Henry VII it was almost completely burned down, but immediately, like a phoenix from the ashes, it rose again more beautiful and more splendid than before, and was given this name by the said king, who was previously the Earl of Richmond. A few years ago Queen Elizabeth, who was particularly fond of staying here, died in this palace."

This is a view from the southwest from a slightly elevated position of the Gothic palace surrounded by Richmond Park. The earlier Sheen (or Shene) Palace was a manor house near the village of Sheen, close to London, in the royal hunting grounds. Mentioned for the first time at the beginning of the 12th century, it served as a residence of the English kings from the 14th century. After a disastrous fire in 1497 Henry VII had it rebuilt and in 1501 he renamed it and the town Richmond. The palace was destroyed in the 17th century, during the English Civil War. (Taschen)

Copper engraving
Size: 31 x 42.5cm (12.1 x 16.6 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Contemporary old coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 4895; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.442.

From: Theatri praecipuarum Totius Mundi Urbium Liber Sextus Anno MDCXVII. (Koeman, B&H6)

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 of 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.