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Bird's eye View of Rome.

Braun & Hogenberg. Rome. Roma. Cologne G. von Kempen 1575
Black and white, copper engraved bird's eye view of Rome from the first volume of Braun & Hogenberg's Civitas Orbis Terrarum. French text to verso.
2 figures to foreground at centre between 2 blocks with keys to the major sites.

This engraving of Rome shows the city around 1550 in its imposing setting on seven hills, surrounded by the Aurelian Walls, 19 km long and 6 m high, dating from the 3rd century. Inside the walls on the right are the ruins of Ancient Rome with the Coliseum (37), the arch of Constantine (50), the Forum Romanum (71) and the baths of Caracalla (28) on the far right. The city centre is dominated by the best-preserved work of antique architecture, namely the Pantheon (c. AD 120). In 609, under Pope Boniface VI, the round domed structure was consecrated and dedicated to the Virgin and all the Christian martyrs, and from then on became known as Santa Maria Rotunda. Further right is the Capitoline Hill with Santa Maria in Aracoeli (99) as its summit, and to the left Trajan's column (55). On the near side of the Tiber, the Vatican (left) is dominated by Hadrian's mausoleum, the Castel Sant'Angelo, in front of which appears the old St Peter's, having undergone alterations since 1506. Work on the monumental new basilica and the layout of St Peter's square would be completed as late as the 17th century, however. In the left-hand foreground appears the Papal palace (78) and in front the obelisk (43) that comes from the circus of Caligua and Nero, in which Peter was executed.
(Taschen) Unrestored original condition, light toning and ocassional light spotting .

The "Civitas Orbis Terrarum" of Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg was the first systemstic city atlas, possible intended to compliment the "Theatrum Orbis Terrarum "of Abraham Ortelius published in 1570.

There is strong evidence that Braun, Hogenberg and Ortelius discussed the planned work, although some scholars believe it was influenced by Sabastien Munster's "Cosmographia"
R A Skelton in his introduction to the facsimile edition [ 1965] puts the case f for the "Theatrum " of Ortelius being the model for the work ( "(it) is made abundantly clear by the similarity between the two works in title, in format and in the layout and serial order of the plates and text"
First publishe in 1572 in Cologne just two years after Ortelius' " Theatrum" it was published in six volumes in the years between 1572 and 1617.
Georg Braun [1541-1622], Canon of Cologne Cathedral wrote the preface for all but the last volume and also the text accompanying each plan or view on the verso.
The plates were engraved by Frans Hogenberg and Simon Novellanus after the original drawings of Joris Hoefnagel[1542-1600] who travelled with Ortelius through Italy and also made extensive travels through France Spain and England
Following the death of Frans Hogenberg the plates were engraved by Abraham Hogenberg, believed to be his son.
Jacob Hoefnagel continued the work of his father following his death, particularly the Austrian and Hungarian cities. Other notable contributers were Heinrich Rantzau with maps and plans of northern Europe, especially Denmark and Jacob van Deventer's plans of cities in the Netherlands. .

Braun corresponded with mapsellers and scholars throughout the world and it was his idea to include the figures of local inhabitants in the foreground of the plans and views, This was not just to add "Local colour" but believing the work could be of refence for Military use, particularly by the Turks. the insertion of images of the human form. specifically forbidden by Islam, was intended to prevent this.
Keoman 2; B&H 13, plate 46. 335 by 490mm (13¼ by 19¼ inches).   ref: 3207  €1500

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