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Basel, by Georg Braun and Frans 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 on 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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Basilea. - Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg, 1575.

€400  ($468 / £360)
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Item Number:  9248
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > Switzerland

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

COMMENTARY BY BRAUN: "The city of Basle consists of two parts, one side, which is on the French side, is called Greater Basle and is very old and a bishopric; it existed already at the time when the Romans were there. The smaller city on the German side has been linked to the greater part by a splendid bridge over the flowing Rhine. [...] No one who has seen this city can deny that it justly called a royal city, "Baslea", due to its fine straight streets and its neatly arranged and well-positioned buildings, all of which are magnificent and beautifully embellished, with lovely, charming gardens, this is where the monastery of St Peter and the Preachers' Monastery are found."

Basle is shown here from the northwest in a bird's-eye view appropriate to its size. In the foreground is Lesser Basle, on the far side of the bridge over the Rhine Greater Basle protected by a double circular wall, with the late Romanesque and Gothic minster (1) with its two characteristic towers on the west façade, the collegiate church of St Peter (3), the stately town hall with its high tower (4), the university founded in 1460 (6), the Dominican monastery (19, on the right) and the paper mill (12, top left). The Roman town of Augusta Raurica was founded in 44/43 BC; the name Basilea is first mentioned in AD 374. Basle was recorded as a bishopric in 740. In 1356 one of the biggest earthquakes north of the Alps destroyed most of the city; in addition a disastrous fire broke out. In 1460 Pope Pius II endowed the University of Basle, the oldest university in Switzerland. This attracted many scholars and humanists (Erasmus of Rotterdam, Hans Holbein the Younger, Paracelsus) and Basle became a centre of printing and publishing (Froben). In 1471 Emperor Friedrich III granted Basle the right to hold fairs. After the Swabian War against Emperor Maximilian I in 1499, Basle became independent from the Empire, joining the Old Swiss Confederation together with Schaffhausen in 1501. In 1529 the city accepted the reformed faith and the bishop had to leave the city. Around 1600 Basle had about 12,000 inhabitants, but between 1550 and 1611 there were several outbreaks of the plague and a third of the population died. (Taschen)

Date of the first edition: 1575
Date of this map: 1575

Copper engraving
Size: 37.5 x 37.5cm (14.6 x 14.6 inches)
Verso text: Latin
Condition: Uncoloured, excellent.
Condition Rating: A
References: Van der Krogt 4, 395; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p. 176.

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, ... Part 2: De Praecipuis, Totius Universi Urbibus, Liber Secundus. Köln, Gottfried von Kempen, 1575. (Van der Krogt 4, 41:1.2)

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 on 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.