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Sicily - Palermo by Braun & Hogenberg

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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Palermo - Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg.

€400  ($464 / £364)
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Item Number:  22684
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Italy - Cities

Old map, bird's-eye plan of Palermo by Braun and Hogenberg, with key to locations.

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Palermo, capital and largest city in the Kingdom of Sicily, famed trading centre.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Then, on the highest point in the city to the west, is a splendid castle, called the Palace of the Norman Kings (72). It is built of vast hewn stones, in many places with Parian marble, and is also very ornately embellished with gold and pearls. To the right of its entrance is the church of St Peter, built by Roger, King of Sicily, which, because of its beauty and the exquisiteness of its decoration, surpasses all other extant Italian churches in our day, be they old or new, and, therefore, is visited by everyone with great admiration and great pleasure, both those who are wise, good and learned as well as the bad and the uninstructed, who live in Palermo or are merely visiting."

The port city is seen here from the northeast from bird's-eye perspective . Situated in a fertile plain in the midst of lemon and orange groves, it is secured against attack by what were then state-of-the-art fortifications. Palermo is represented as a major port, with the Old Town harbour and the large new port, in which galleys lie at anchor, their oars in a stationary position. Founded by the Phoenicians and conquered by the Arabs, Palermo was one of the world's largest cities from the 10th to the 11th century. Apart from a maze of alleys, no trace of Arab rule remains. After the Norman conquest (1072) the city flourished in the 12th century as the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily and experienced its heyday under Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor. The 9th-century summer seat of the Emir of Palermo was converted into the Norman palace (72) in the 12th century. Palermo then diminished in importance under changing rule. Today it is the capital of the Italian province and autonomous region of Sicily. (Taschen)

Copper engraving
Size: 32.5 x 50cm (12.7 x 19.5 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Old coloured, bottom corners restored with small part of image reinstated.
Condition Rating: C
References: Van der Krogt 4, 3275, State 2; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p. 338.

From: Liber quartus Urbium Praecipuarum totius Mundi. Cologne, 1588-97. (Koeman, B&H4, Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.4)

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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