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Bird's eye View of Amsterdam.

Braun & Hogenberg. Amsterdam. Amsterdanum. Cologne G. von Kempen 1575
Black and white, copper engraved birds eye view of Amsterdam from the first volume of Braun & Hogenberg's Civitas Orbis Terrarum. French text to verso.
Very desirable and early town-plan of Amsterdam from a north-easterly direction. With a numbered key (1-28) in lower left corner.

On the left-hand side we can see how the mouth of the River Amstel has been dammed and its waters channeled into canals and made to pass through the city before flowing out into the Zuiderzee (today the IJsselmeer). The canals, which were used to transport imported goods to the counting houses located all over the city, are lined with private houses, commercial buildings and warehouses. In the center of the plan, the old town hall (Stadhuis, 21) and the neighboring Nieue Kerk (23) are also clearly recognizable. With its depiction of the heavy shipping traffic inside the harbour and on the Zuiderzee, the engraving conveys an impression of the contemporary scale of trade conducted in the continually expanding metropolis.
In the 13th century Amsterdam was simply a small fishing port built on marshy ground. In 1300 it was granted its municipal charter and in 1369 became a member of the Hansa. Not until the beginning of the 1600s did the city finally establish itself as the leading center of trade and the constantly expanding hub of a global financial and commercial empire.
This Golden Age brought not only an economic boom but also a flowering of the sciences and arts, which lasted until the end of the 17th century.

[Taschen, Braun and Hogenberg, p.78.] Dark impression; light toning and soiling; spo tbelow Title cartouche [ lighter to left side where it has been treansferrred] ; 4 spots to upper centre fold.; split at lower centrefold entering plate 1cm, with old repair to verso

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 21]. 340 by 485mm (13½ by 19 inches).   ref: 3213  €1200

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