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Bethune, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. 1599



€250  ($292.5 / £212.5)
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Item Number:  24081
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > France

Old map - bird's-eye view of Bethune by Braun and Hogenberg, after Quintinus Vanden Gracht.

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: True-to-life impression of the town of Béthune in Artois.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "The little town of Béthune, also known as the granary of Artois, was formerly a famous domain of the Atrebates or Flemings, before becoming subject with others to the county of Artois [...]. The city passed to Flanders instead of Artois, because it lies on this side of the Lys, which separates Flanders from Artois. Today, as I believe, it ranks third among the cities of Artois, after Arras and Saint-Omer. In trade and industry, it is richly provided with grain and all the necessities of life and such things as are sold abroad."

This is a profile view from the town from the south. In the foreground are pastures and fields, crossed by streams that join up before flowing into the Lys. The peaceful countryside is animated by women laying out there washing to dry, and men playing boules. A wall with bastions encircles the city. Dominating features are the castle on a slight rise (right), the big church of Saint-Bartholomé in the centre and next to it on the left the belfry, which remains the town's landmark today. The sandstone tower is today considered to be the first of its kind. The County of Artois passed to Burgundy in 1384, but fell to France again after the death of Charles the Bold in 1477. In 1493, in the Peace of Senlis, Artois was ceded to Maximilian I of Habsburg and remained in the possession of the Habsburgs until the second half on the 17th century.

Date of the first edition: 1588
Date of this map: 1599

Copper engraving
Size: 30 x 45.5cm (11.6 x 17.7 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Uncoloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 480; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.277.

From: Liber quartus Urbium Praecipuarum totius Mundi. Cologne, Bertram Buchholtz, 1599. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.4(1599))