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Wittenberg - Frankfurt an der Oder - Wismar and Rostock by Braun & Hogenberg 1572-1624

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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Wittenburga Saxoniae oppidum, ... [on sheet with] Civitas Francfordiensis In Marchionatu Brandeburgensi, ... [and] Wismaria, ... [and] Rostochium, ...

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Item Number:  16761
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Germany - Cities

Four bird's-eye views on one sheet:: Wittenberg, Frankfurt an der Oder, Wismar and **Rostock

WITTENBERG **

CARTOUCHE: Wittenberg, the Saxon town, universally famous for its cultivation of the sciences.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Wittenberg, in our day the seat of the Dukes of Saxony, is supposed to take its name, so some people think, from Widukind of Saxony, the first Christian prince of Saxony. In 1502 Elector Frederick III, the son of Ernst, Elector of Saxony, founded a university in this town following the example of Leipzig and Tübingen."

The view of Wittenberg across the Elbe is unspectacular: the single church rising above the town centre, its two massive towers topped by octagonal turrets, is the town church of St Mary, which became the mother church of the Reformation. Wittenberg's palace and palace church are rendered in a relatively inconspicuous manner on the far left of the picture. In 1293 Duke Albert II made Wittenberg his residence. 1502 saw the foundation of the Leucorea University, where from 1508 onwards Martin Luther taught as professor of biblical exegesis.

FRANKFURT AN DER ODER

CAPTION: The city of Frankfurt an der Oder in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, famous for a university with the best opportunities for learning and as a centre of commerce.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Frankfurt is a magnificent city situated in the Brandenburg March; to the east it lies on the Oder, abounding in fish, and to the west, south and north it has countless vineyards. The wine these produce is sold via the Oder to Pomerania, Denmark, Prussia and other surrounding lands. A university was founded here in 1506, following the example of Leipzig, which was granted privileges by His Most Serene Highness, Elector Joachim, and Pope Alexander VI and Julius II, and also by Emperor Maximilian I."

The engraving shows a view of Frankfurt an der Oder as seen from the east. A number of boats are plying the river in the foreground. Behind them, the city skyline is hallmarked above all by the towers of the parish churches of St Mary (Pfarrkirch) and St Nicholas, today the Friedenskirche. The city is surrounded by a fortified wall built in the late 13th century, with three gates and some 50 guardhouses and watchtowers. Founded in the 1200s, the settlement rapidly expanded due to its position on crossroads between Paris-Aachen-Berlin-Warsaw-Moscow and the Prague-Meissen-Stettin trade routes. In 1253 it was granted its charter and in 1430 joined the Hansa. The lively river traffic and the captions signposting the roads to Meissen and Berlin reflect Frankfurt's commercially advantageous location at the intersection of the two trade routes and beside the Oder.

ROSTOCK

[The names of Rostock and Wismar have been transposed and the present plate erroneously identified as Wismar.]

CAPTION: Rostock, a town in the Duchy of Mecklenburg, distinguished for its famous name and academy.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: " The port of Rostock lies on the border of Saxony and belongs to the Duke of Mecklenburg; it was once only a castle surrounded by a few farmhouses, but in 1170 the settlement was fortified, surrounded by an embankment, and grew into a town. It suffered harsh setbacks on several occasions due to internal unrest, fire and other difficulties. It possesses a university, which was founded in 1419 by their Most Serene Highnesses John IV and Albert IV, Princes of Mecklenburg, by the town council, which pays the professors, and with the support of the local inhabitants."

WISMAR

[The names of Rostock and Wismar have been transposed and the present plate erroneously identified as Rostock.]

CAPTION: Wismar, a town in the Duchy of Mecklenburg known for its location, its large population and its buildings.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "A piteous event took place in this city: a carpenter, who sometimes lost his wits and fell into a rage, e.g. while working, took an axe, ran home and with a terrible bellow cleaved his own children in half and also cut down their pregnant mother - so that he murdered two at one stroke. Dear God, is it possible to imagine anything more dreadful than this murder?"

Interestingly, this is the first time that Braun recounts a tale of horror of the kind frequently found in the earlier city chronicles of Hartmann Schedel and Sebastian Munster. These stories were published in the Newen Zeytungen broadsheets that were the forerunners of today's newspapers. (Taschen)

Copper engraving
Size: 30.5 x 48cm (11.9 x 18.7 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Old coloured
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 4859, State 3 (View Wittenberg replaced by a plan); Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p..

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, ... Part 1. Köln, 1572-1624. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.1)

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.