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Nysa and Legnica (Poland), by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. c. 1625

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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Nissa Silesior Sedes Episcopalis [on sheet with] Liginicium.

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Item Number:  24584
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Eastern Europe

Old map with two bird's-eye views by Braun and Hogenberg: Nysa and Legnica (Poland)

NYSA

CARTOUCHE: Nysa, episcopal see in Silesia.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "This is also a fine city in Silesia. Its name is taken from the River Nysa on which it lies. It is quit large, handsome and well built, in a very cheerful and fertile situation. It has the right of entrepôt for goods that pass the city on the Neisse. This river rises in the Bohemian mountains and flows past Görlitz to join the Oder at Crossen."

This is a view of Nysa (German Neisse) from the northwest. In the middle of the city is the Gothic cathedral of St James, dating from the 14th/15th centuries with its separate bell tower. To the right of this is the town hall tower, and on the far right the Münsterberg gate tower, which is a part of the city wall, built in 1350. In the left foreground, in front of the Neisse bridge, the Capuchin monastery can be identified. Nysa, one of the oldest cities in Silesia, lies in a strategically favourable position on the Nysa Klodzka. In the 12th century the city was the seat of the Piast duke. After 1198 Nysa passed into the possession of the bishops of Wroclaw, whose residence can be seen on the left in the northeastern part of the town.

LEGNICA

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "On the origins of this city, like almost all other cities in Silesia, we have little information. This is due to a certain extent to the fact that the annals, together with other archives and written documents, have been destroyed, partly by enemy attack and partly by fire."

This is a view from the northwest of the city of Legnica (German Liegnitz), which is protected by bastions and a moat. The nobles depicted in the foreground illustrate the city's importance. On the left is the castle with its octagonal St Peter's tower and the round St Hedwig's tower, to the right of this is the church of Our Lady and on the far right the Gothic cathedral of SS Peter and Paul. In the 12th century the city was the seat of the Dukes of Lower Silesia and from 1248 to 1675 it was the residence of the Duchy of Legnica. In 1526 the first Protestant university in Europe was founded here. This important trade and industrial city passed to Prussia in 1742 and to Poland in 1945. (Taschen)

Date of the first edition: 1617
Date of this map: c. 1625

Copper engraving
Size: 33 x 45.5cm (12.9 x 17.6 inches)
Verso text: French
Condition: Contemporary coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.455.

From: Théatre des Principales Villes de tout l'Univers Vol. VI. c. 1625. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:3.6)

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.