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Views of Genua and Florence by Braun and Hogenberg.

Braun & Hogenberg. Gennes. Florence. Genua. Ligurium domina..
Florentia. urbs est insignis Hetruria olim Fluentia ...
Cologne G. von Kempen 1575
2 black and white, copper engraved views on one plate, of Genua and Florence from the first volume of Braun & Hogenberg's Civitas Orbis Terrarum. French text to verso.
The view of Genua from the sea with numerous ships and gallea to foreground; title to sky and title and description cartouche to lower right corner.
The trading port and city of Genova is presented from an ideal, elevated viewpoint from the south. The layout of the city can be clearly seen as it slopes down to the sea. In the centre stands the Romanesque cathedral of San Lorenzo, built in the 13th century. Higher up the hillside lies the Palazzo Ducale, here still as a medieval complex from the 13th century. The approximately 80-m-high lighthouse (La lanterna) on the left is another symbol of the city. Genoa's economic importance is underlined by the volume of shipping in front of the port; the New World was discovered in 1492 by the Genoa born Columbus. 1407 saw the founding in Genoa of the Banco di San Giorgio, which lent money to various monarchs in the early modern era and thereby earned Genoa an exceptionally important position within the network of Europe's ruling houses.

The engraving shows Florence from the southwest. On the far side of the Arno, the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with its impressive cupola (1418-1436) by Filippo Brunelleschi soars above the roofs of the densely packed houses. Visible in front of it are the bell tower, built from 1330 to designs by Giotto, and the Baptistery (11th-12th cent.) with its magnificent bronze doors by Andrea Pisano and Lorenzo Ghiberti (1330-1452). Behind it to the right, as a symbol of secular power, is the Palazzo della Signoria (14th cent.), today known as the Palazzo Vecchio, with its 94-m-high tower. Florence was founded as a Roman colony in Caesar's day, when it marked the intersection of two major trade routes. In the 14th and 15th centuries it developed into a city of art and culture, attracting many artists and intellectuals, including Sandro Botticelli, Galileo Gallilei, Leonardo de Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli. Under the rule of the Medici family, Florence also developed into an important centre of finance and trade. With a population of around 366,000, Florence is today the capital of Tuscany
. (Taschen) Dark impression; light toning; scattered spotting to upper blank margin entering view of Genua; printers creases to lower blank margin; light water stain to Florence and a couple of spots to centre fold.

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 14, [plate 45]; Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.112. 330 by 480mm (13 by 19 inches).   ref: 3209  €1000

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