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Wismar, by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. 1596

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "The town has greatly gained in importance through its trade with other peoples, for it has the most convenient harbour on the entire Baltic Sea, in which even the biggest ships can lie without anchor. ... That it is a well-populated, powerful and wealthy town is adequately demonstrated by its splendid churches, the beauty and decoration of its public squares, workshops, town hall, wine cellars etc."

Wismar is here shown in a cavalier perspective. The former Hanseatic city on the Baltic rises on the far side of Wismar Bay beyond a broad reach of land. The impressive sight of the city, which from 1257 until 1358 served as the residence of the princes of Mecklenburg, is heightened by the costumed figures in the foreground, illustrating local burgher dress. The local quarters and parcels of land making up Wismar's Old Town in its heyday in the 14th century have remained unchanged right up to the present. The six surviving brick churches in particular convey a sense of Wismar's wealth, even if its population in 1632 was only 3,000. Noteworthy are the late Gothic church of St Nicholas on the left, the impressive Gothic church of St Mary in the centre, directly beside which is the former hospice church of the Holy Spirit and lastly St George's church. (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 most excellent 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. Many plates were engraved after the original drawings of a professional artist, a professional artist, Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600). The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, and the sixth in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel made those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were cartographers 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 1612. The subsequent 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. 1561, he obtained his bachelor's degree, and in 1562, he received 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 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. He immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates, published in 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Thanks to large-scale projects like 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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Item Number:  27638 Authenticity Guarantee

Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Germany - Cities

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

Alte, antike Vogelperspektive von Wismar, von Georg Braun und Frans Hogenberg.

Date of the first edition: 1596
Date of this map: 1596

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 38.5 x 50.5cm (14.9 x 19.7 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Original coloured, light brown stain in centre.
Condition Rating: A

From: Urbium Praecipuarum Mundi Theatrum Quintum Auctore Georgio Braunio Agrippinate. Part 5. Köln, 1596/97. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.5)

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "The town has greatly gained in importance through its trade with other peoples, for it has the most convenient harbour on the entire Baltic Sea, in which even the biggest ships can lie without anchor. ... That it is a well-populated, powerful and wealthy town is adequately demonstrated by its splendid churches, the beauty and decoration of its public squares, workshops, town hall, wine cellars etc."

Wismar is here shown in a cavalier perspective. The former Hanseatic city on the Baltic rises on the far side of Wismar Bay beyond a broad reach of land. The impressive sight of the city, which from 1257 until 1358 served as the residence of the princes of Mecklenburg, is heightened by the costumed figures in the foreground, illustrating local burgher dress. The local quarters and parcels of land making up Wismar's Old Town in its heyday in the 14th century have remained unchanged right up to the present. The six surviving brick churches in particular convey a sense of Wismar's wealth, even if its population in 1632 was only 3,000. Noteworthy are the late Gothic church of St Nicholas on the left, the impressive Gothic church of St Mary in the centre, directly beside which is the former hospice church of the Holy Spirit and lastly St George's church. (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 most excellent 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. Many plates were engraved after the original drawings of a professional artist, a professional artist, Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600). The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, and the sixth in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel made those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were cartographers 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 1612. The subsequent 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. 1561, he obtained his bachelor's degree, and in 1562, he received 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 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. He immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates, published in 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Thanks to large-scale projects like the Geschichtsblätter and the Civitates, Hogenberg's social circumstances improved with each passing year. He died as a wealthy man in Cologne in 1590.

References: Van der Krogt 4 - #4849 State 2; Taschen (Br. Hog.) - p.393; Fauser - #15575