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Milan (Milano), by Braun Georg & Hogenberg Frans. 1612

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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Mediolanum Metropolis Insubrum, vulgo Milano, ...

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Item Number:  22341
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Italy - Cities
References: Van der Krogt 4 - #2758; Fauser - #8883; Taschen, Br. Hog. - p.106

Old, antique map of Milano, by Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg.

Pianta antica a volo d'uccello della città di Milano (Milano), di Georg Braun e Frans Hogenberg.

Date of the first edition: 1572
Date of this map: 1612

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 33.5 x 48.5cm (13.1 x 18.9 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition Rating: A+

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Liber Primus. Cologne, Petrus von Brachel, 1612. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.1(1612))

Bird's-eye view plan of Milano.

Copper engraving
Size: 34 x 48cm (13 x 19 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Old coloured.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, ... Part 1. Köln, 1572-1624.

CARTOUCHE LEFT: Commentary on the city's coat of arms top right by the humanist and emblematician Andrea Alciato.

TRANSLATION CARTOUCHE RIGHT: Mediolanum, capital of the Insubrians, commonly known as Milan, an extremely powerful and dignified city, which due to its favourable location was generally the seat of the Roman emperors, who embellished it with superb buildings. The region around Milan has a temperate climate, the soils are fertile and everything is present in abundance. [...] The fecund fields and the proximity to the Alps meant that many people flocked from the latter to Milan. Due to a large influx at the time of Emperor Gratian, Milan grew bigger. For over 500 years the Insubrians were namely troubled neither by external enemies nor by internal fighting. This good fortune lasted until the time of St Ambrose, when the Arian heresy inflicted great harm upon the city. Then Attila, who had invaded Italy, destroyed Milan. For a long time after its reconstruction, it had peace. Then it was visited by the Lombards. After their subjugation by Charlemagne, it flourished for 360 years. But then Frederick Barbarossa razed Milan to the ground. With the help of Parma and Piacenza, its inhabitants rebuilt their city with such zeal, such ardour, that it arose even more prosperous, powerful and populated than before [...].

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Milan can be numbered amongst the largest cities in Europe. Running through its suburbs are canals, along which all the necessities of life can be brought into the city by boat. So many different artisans live here that it is said that there are enough to rebuild Italy, but first you would have to destroy Milan in order to persuade its craftsmen and artists to migrate across the rest of Italy. The city has many magnificent houses, each more beautiful than the next, including its main church, with which few order churches in the whole world bear comparison in terms of size and marble décor."

The plan view conveys an impressive picture of the city's distinctively regular layout. The medieval fortifications were replaced in the 16th/17th centuries by the bastion-like city wall, particularly easy to recognize in this bird's-eye perspective. It starts from the Castello Sforzesco (top centre), the former fortified palace of the Sforza Dukes of Milan. In the very centre of the city lies the cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente, commenced in the 14th century and consecrated in 1572. The Gothic city core is located around the cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente, commenced in the 14th century and consecrated in 1572. The Gothic city core is located around the cathedral square. Also, visible in this engraving are Milan's oldest churches, all founded in the 4th century: San Lorenzo Maggiore (centre left), Sant'Ambrogio (top left) and Sant'Eustorgio. Leonardo da Vinci's famous Last Supper (1495/97) is housed in Santa Maria delle Grazie (left of the Castello). When Francesco Sforza died without heirs in 1535, Milan passed to Emperor Charles V, who in 1555 bequeathed it in turn to his son Philip II of Spain. Milan remained in Spanish possession until the 18th century. The city is today the financial, fashion and media capital of Italy with 1.3 million inhabitants. (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.