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Valenciennes, by Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg. 1623

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 an engraver of numerous maps. In 1568 he was banned 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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Valencena, quondam Cygnorum Vallis, Urbs Han: Perelegas, et Valde Magnifica.

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Item Number:  23312
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > France

Old, antique bird's-eye view plan of Valenciennes, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg.

Plan à vol d'oiseau de la ville de Valenciennes, par Georg Braun et Frans Hogenberg.

Date of the first edition: 1581
Date of this map: 1623

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 35 x 46.5cm (13.7 x 18.1 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Original coloured, some offsetting.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 4552; Fauser, 14565; Taschen, Br. Hog., p.230.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum. - Urbium Praeciuarum Totius Mundi Liber Terius. Cologne, Petrus von Brachel, 1623. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.3)

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Valenciennes, once Valley of the Swans, is a very fair and magnificent city in Hainaut.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Valenciennes developed out of a castle that lay surrounded by water, and which was initially called the Valley of the Swans on account of the many swans; later, however, as the city grew ever larger, the inhabitants named it Valenciennes. It is a large and charmingly situated city with magnificent buildings, cloisters and churches, of which the church of Our Lady and the church of St John are the most admirable. The latter was built by Pippin, the king of France."

Valenciennes and the path followed by the Schelde as it crosses the city are seen here in a bird's-eye view from the south. From this angle the impressive basilica of Notre-Dame-du-Saint-Cordon, celebrating its millennium in 2008, stands out, along with the Gothic church of Saint-Géry. In the middle of the 16th century Valenciennes became a centre of Calvinism, and daily life during this period was dominated by confessional conflicts, some of them armed. Following Valenciennes's capture in 1580 by Alexander Farnese, Count of Parma, Protestantism was suppressed. In the course of the Counter-Reformation, a jesuit college was founded in 1591 whose library is still prized today. (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 an engraver of numerous maps. In 1568 he was banned 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.