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Caprarola (Latium) and the Farnese Palace, by Braun and Hogenberg. c. 1610

CAPTION: Caprarola palace and the Farnese gardens.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "The magnificent, splendid and exceedingly beautiful palace of Caprarola lies roughly a comfortable day's journey from Rome, between Viterbo and Monterosa [...]. Cardinal Alexander Farnese had it built by one of the leading architects of our day, Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, high on the top of the mountain, in the immediate vicinity of a town by the name of Caprarola, as somewhere to retreat from the summer heat. [...] Ultimately, the magnificence and splendour of Caprarola palace cannot be described in a single page; one could print an entire book about it."

The magnificent palace of Caprarola, which is laid out in the shape of a pentagon on Monte Cimini, today lies in the Lago di Vico nature reserve. It was commissioned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese - grandson of the notoriously nepotistic Pope Paul III - from the Bolognese architect Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola in 1559. Caprarola palace, also known as the Villa Farnese, is seen in cavalier perspective, allowing the viewer a partial glimpse into the circular inner courtyard of the massive pentagonal complex. Inside the courtyard are splendid colonnades, within which columned niches house the busts of Roman emperors. The magnificent gardens can also be admired in the engraving. The massive Villa Farnese is considered one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture. The building, which dominates the surrounding countryside, is characterized by its strict proportions and sparing ornamentation. After Farnese's death (1589) the villa passed to the Dukes of Parma and received little use. In the 19th century the villa served for a while as the residence of the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Italy; today it is the occasional home of the Italian president. In 1580 Montaigne praised the building as the most beautiful palace in Italy, a compliment that probably inspired Braun and Hogenberg to include it in their city atlas. (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 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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Caprarola arx et horti Farnesiani.

€700  ($833 / £623)
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Item Number:  16671  new
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Italy - Cities
References: Van der Krogt 4 - #781 State 2; Taschen, Br. Hog. - p. 421; Fauser - #2327

Antique print, a view of Caprarola (Latium) and the Farnese Palace, by Braun and Hogenberg.

Stampa antica, veduta di Caprarola (Lazio) e Palazzo Farnese, di Braun e Hogenberg.

Date of the first edition: 1596
Date of this map: c. 1610

Copper engraving
Size: 38 x 50.5cm (14.8 x 19.7 inches)
Verso text: French
Condition: Contemporary coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 781 State 2; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.421.

From: Théâtre des Principales Villes de tout l'Univers. Tome 5. c. 1610.

CAPTION: Caprarola palace and the Farnese gardens.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "The magnificent, splendid and exceedingly beautiful palace of Caprarola lies roughly a comfortable day's journey from Rome, between Viterbo and Monterosa [...]. Cardinal Alexander Farnese had it built by one of the leading architects of our day, Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, high on the top of the mountain, in the immediate vicinity of a town by the name of Caprarola, as somewhere to retreat from the summer heat. [...] Ultimately, the magnificence and splendour of Caprarola palace cannot be described in a single page; one could print an entire book about it."

The magnificent palace of Caprarola, which is laid out in the shape of a pentagon on Monte Cimini, today lies in the Lago di Vico nature reserve. It was commissioned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese - grandson of the notoriously nepotistic Pope Paul III - from the Bolognese architect Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola in 1559. Caprarola palace, also known as the Villa Farnese, is seen in cavalier perspective, allowing the viewer a partial glimpse into the circular inner courtyard of the massive pentagonal complex. Inside the courtyard are splendid colonnades, within which columned niches house the busts of Roman emperors. The magnificent gardens can also be admired in the engraving. The massive Villa Farnese is considered one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture. The building, which dominates the surrounding countryside, is characterized by its strict proportions and sparing ornamentation. After Farnese's death (1589) the villa passed to the Dukes of Parma and received little use. In the 19th century the villa served for a while as the residence of the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Italy; today it is the occasional home of the Italian president. In 1580 Montaigne praised the building as the most beautiful palace in Italy, a compliment that probably inspired Braun and Hogenberg to include it in their city atlas. (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 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.