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Formia - Gulf of Gaeta with Mola and Castel Novo by Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg. 1582

Georg Braun (1541-1622)

Georg Braun was born in Cologne in 1541. After his studies in Cologne he enterred 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.

He was the compiler of the Civitates Orbis Terrarum, 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.

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Mola - Castel Novo.

€400  ($484 / £352)
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Item Number:  26669
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Italy - Cities
References: Van der Krogt 4 - #1336; Fauser - #3986; Taschen, Br. Hog. - p.265

Antique map - bird's-eye view of the Gulf of Gaeta and Formia, by Braun and Hogenberg.

Veduta antica del golfo di Gaeta e di Formia, di Georg Braun e Frans Hogenberg.

TRANSLATION OF CARTOUCHE TEXT: Georg Hoefnagel, painter of this fine view of Cape Gaeta on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Abraham Ortelius, a keen observer and admirer, an extremely agreeable travelling companion on the journey to Naples.

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN (on verso): "Mola is an elongated and very beautiful town in Latium on the Via Appia. The town is truly charming, it is full of the most well-tended gardens with lemons, limes and fine groves. Through them flow little streams with the purest water, and as a luxury they even flow right up to the houses. [...] Gaeta is excellently fortified and possesses an impregnable vastle perched on top of the hill, around which a wall was built by Ferdinand II, King of Aragon and Naples, many years ago. [...] It is common knowledge that Gaeta has been reduced to ruins more than once. It suffered a terrible defeat in 1394 when the French decimated the town, with a great deal of bloodshed among the population."

This is a sweeping view of the Gulf of Gaeta, the town of the same name (left background), Formia (right foreground, formerly Mola di Gaeta) and the Via Appia. In the left foreground are Ortelius and Hoefnagel. They associate the name Gaeta with Aeneas's nurse, and Ortelius is pointing at the caption in the upper left-hand corner: "You too, Caieta, nurse of Aeneas, have given by your death eternal fame to our shores" (Virgil, Aeneid VII, 1-2). Gaeta is considered to be one of the oldest towns in Italy. It belonged for a time to the Papal States and is today still an episcopal see. In 1435 King Alfonso V of Aragon captured Gaeta and built the castle that can be seen in the distance. Formia is guarded by a massive round tower, the Torre di Mola, and dominated by a fortress from the late Middle Ages. Like many towns in this region, Gaeta was a popular summer resort for the Romans, and it was granted Roman city rights in 338 BC. (Taschen)

Date of the first edition: 1581
Date of this map: 1582

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 30 x 43.5cm (11.7 x 16.8 inches)
Verso text: German
Condition: Centrefold repaired.
Condition Rating: B+
References: Van der Krogt 4, 1336; Fauser, 3986; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.265.

From: Contrafactur und Beschreibung von den vornembsten Stetten der Welt. Liber Tertius. Köln, 1582. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:2.3)

Georg Braun (1541-1622)

Georg Braun was born in Cologne in 1541. After his studies in Cologne he enterred 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.

He was the compiler of the Civitates Orbis Terrarum, 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.