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Pozzuoli - Solfatara, by Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg. 1581

Phlegraean Fields, also known as the Campi Flegrei, is a large 13 km (8 mi) wide caldera situated to the west of Naples, Italy. Today most of the area lies underwater, but it includes the town of Pozzuoli and the Solfatara crater, mythological home of the Roman god of fire, Vulcan.

CARTOUCHE LEFT: A true-to-life and accurate illustration of the wondrous sulphur mountains near Pozzuoli (Campi Flegrei in Pliny, Vulcani forum in Strabo and Solfatara in Italian among the Neapolitans today).

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Solfatara is a place in Campania that is truly wonderful. The first thing one sees is a broad egg-shaped field, somewhat longer than wide. This is surrounded by high hills, as if by a wall or bastions, and there is only a single entrance facing Pozzuoli. The soil is mixed through and through with brimstone, which grows there, and at the end there is a wide pit full of black and thickened water. All around the pit, pungent and hot sulphur fumes constantly arise from holes in the ground. Beside it there are many smelteries where white sulphur is made."

This unusual plate underlines the dramatic nature of the deadly sulphurous vapours that issue from the ground. The allegorical figures with a donkey's head and a Medusa's head who are striking an anvil with smiths' hammers, and the cartouche texts framed by horseshoes, are clear references to the forge of the god Vulcan. In the middle we see the artist (Georg Hoefnagel) and the scholar (Abraham Ortelius) discussing in detail what they see (C: "The water here is always black, muddy and so hot that if an egg is put in it, it will come out cooked; the water bubbles like the sea and often surges up to a height of 24 handbreadths"). The Greeks founded their oldest colony on the Italian mainland close to the Phlegraean Fields and since antiquity travellers have been fascinated by these volcanic hills with their hot springs and craters, so vividly portrayed by Georg Hoefnagel. (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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Mirabilium Sulphureorum Motium Apud Puteolos.

€480  ($566.4 / £412.8)
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Item Number:  25354  new
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Italy - Cities
References: Van der Krogt 4 - #3462; Fauser - #13134; Taschen, Br. Hog. - p. 265

Old, antique bird’s-eye view of Pozzuoli - Solfatara, by Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg.

Antica veduta a volo d'uccello di Pozzuoli - Solfatara, di Georg Braun e Frans Hogenberg.

Title: Mirabilium Sulphureorum Motium Apud Puteolos
(campos Flegreos Plin. Vulvani forum Strabo Vulgo nunc solfatariam vocant Neapolitani) genuina accuratißimacq. ad Viuum depicta representation
Georgius [Hoefnagel].

Engraver: Georg Hoefnagel.

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

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 310 x 415mm (12.2 x 16.34 inches).
Verso: Latin text.
Condition: Original coloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A+.
References: Van der Krogt 4, #3462; Fauser, #13134; Taschen, Br. Hog., p.265

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum. . Liber tertius. Cologne, Gottfried von Kempen, 1581. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.3)

Phlegraean Fields, also known as the Campi Flegrei, is a large 13 km (8 mi) wide caldera situated to the west of Naples, Italy. Today most of the area lies underwater, but it includes the town of Pozzuoli and the Solfatara crater, mythological home of the Roman god of fire, Vulcan.

CARTOUCHE LEFT: A true-to-life and accurate illustration of the wondrous sulphur mountains near Pozzuoli (Campi Flegrei in Pliny, Vulcani forum in Strabo and Solfatara in Italian among the Neapolitans today).

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "Solfatara is a place in Campania that is truly wonderful. The first thing one sees is a broad egg-shaped field, somewhat longer than wide. This is surrounded by high hills, as if by a wall or bastions, and there is only a single entrance facing Pozzuoli. The soil is mixed through and through with brimstone, which grows there, and at the end there is a wide pit full of black and thickened water. All around the pit, pungent and hot sulphur fumes constantly arise from holes in the ground. Beside it there are many smelteries where white sulphur is made."

This unusual plate underlines the dramatic nature of the deadly sulphurous vapours that issue from the ground. The allegorical figures with a donkey's head and a Medusa's head who are striking an anvil with smiths' hammers, and the cartouche texts framed by horseshoes, are clear references to the forge of the god Vulcan. In the middle we see the artist (Georg Hoefnagel) and the scholar (Abraham Ortelius) discussing in detail what they see (C: "The water here is always black, muddy and so hot that if an egg is put in it, it will come out cooked; the water bubbles like the sea and often surges up to a height of 24 handbreadths"). The Greeks founded their oldest colony on the Italian mainland close to the Phlegraean Fields and since antiquity travellers have been fascinated by these volcanic hills with their hot springs and craters, so vividly portrayed by Georg Hoefnagel. (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.