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Urbino and Sulmona, by Braun and Hogenberg. 1599

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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Urbino - Sulmo Ovidii Patria.

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Item Number:  24126
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Italy - Cities

Antique map with two bird's-eye views of Urbino and one of Sulmona, by Braun and Hogenberg.

URBINO

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "But afterwards, under Pope Sixtus IV, the city of Urbino was elevated from a county to the status of a duchy because of the magnificent gifts made to it by Federico and his admirable virtues. For he was a wise, eloquent and learned man: he loved witty men, was fortunate in war, in peace congenial, greatly esteemed by the Italian princes and loved and treasured by his own subjects. He adorned the city of Urbino with magnificent houses, chief among them the stately building in which he also had a vast library installed, which he provided with large numbers of the very best books that were, moreover, bound and decorated in gold, silver and silks."

This simplified representation of Urbino has been reduced to essentials and consists of two views. Seen from the southwest in the upper of the two pictures is the Palazzo Ducale built into the slope. Directly behind it appears the tower of the cathedral. In the foreground is the Porta Valbona, with the main axis of the city leading to the 14th-century church of San Francesco and, therefore, to the centre of the Old Town. Urbino is seen from the opposite direction, northeast, in the lower picture, with the Porta Lavigne in the foreground. Founded by the Romans, Urbino was a fief of the Counts of Montefeltro, who ruled Urbino from 1444 to 1482. A committed advocate of humanism, Frederico was an ardent patron of the arts and sciences and his court, at which he assembled Italy's leading artists and scholars, was one of the most brilliant of the era. Urbino is celebrated today as the birthplace of the painter Raphael, whose father participated in that flowering of cultural history by being in Frederico's employ.

SULMONA

CARTOUCHE: Sulmona, Ovid's birthplace.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Sulmo, a town of the Bruttii in the territory of the Paeligni, was originally called Solymum [...]. In the present day, however, it is called Sulmona, as Leander wrote, and is the birthplace of the venerated poet Ovidius Naso, as he himself attests in his verses: "My home is Sulmo, abounding in cool waters, nine times ten miles distant from Rome". [...] The city of Sulmona is celebrated especially for its beauty, the number of its inhabitants and its superabundance of water."

The city, surrounded by 14th-century fortifications, is seen in bird's-eye from the northwest. In the lower centre are the church and palace of Santissima Annunziata, above which is San Francesco della Scarpa with the Portale di San Francesco. Immediately above this is the church of Santa Maria della Tomba, which was built on the site of the temple to Jupiter. The inscription to the left refers to this temple and, like the cartouche, discloses the reason why this particular city was included in the present work: as the birthplace of the Roman poet Ovid (b. 43 BC), Sulmona was a name all Renaissance humanists revered. (Taschen)

Copper engraving
Size: 33 x 46.5cm (12.9 x 18.1 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Uncoloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 4537; Taschen, Br. Hog., p.331.

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

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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