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Famous Bird's eye View of Constantinople.

Braun & Hogenberg. Constantinople. Byzantium nunc Constantinoplis. Cologne G. von Kempen 1575
Black and white, copper engraved birds eye view of Istanbul- Constantinople from the first volume of Braun & Hogenberg's Civitas Orbis Terrarum. French text to verso. Second state of the view, with the roundel at the right including the portrait of Sultan Murad III.

One of the finest and most sought-after views of Istanbul. Viewed from the village of Scutari, the City is shown with all its fortifications, the original Genouse district of Galata on the opposite bank of the Golden Horn to the right. European galleons and Turkish galleys fill the seas of the Bosporus and Golden Horn. The great buildings of 16th century Istanbul during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent can be clearly seen, including the "Suleymaniye Mosque" and the "Topkapi" palace. The lower center is filled with a parading Turkish horseman and troop of Janissaries.

The original of this map is often incorrectly attributed to Giovanni Andrea Vavassore, called Vadagnino, who created a fine view of Constantinople published in Venice in 1520. Vavassore's view is also said to have influenced the view published in the 1550 and subsequent editions of Sebastian Munster's Cosmographia. Vavassore's view is in turn said to have been based on a 1480 view, now apparently lost, by Venetian artist Giovianni Bellini, who was invited by Mehmet II Fatih, i.e. 'the Conqueror' to Constantinople.
But a closer comparison of the Vavassore, Munster, and Braun & Hogenberg maps or views of Constantinople reveals significant differences. Most notably in the topographic details of the city-scape, especially the Roman remains such as the Hippodrome, today's 'At Meydan', which while not absent in the Vavassore map, is not clearly depicted, whereas it is very clear, detailed and accurate in both the Munster and Braun & Hogenberg maps, as are the locations of churches, palaces and other monuments which are more accurately depicted in the Munster and Braun & Hogenberg maps.
Compared with the Munster map, the Braun and Hogenberg map or view of Constantinople is in particular distinguished and made unique by the portrait of the mounted horseman identified as the Ottoman ruler Suleiman the Magnificent (6 November 1494 - 7 September 1566) who claimed among other titles to be Roman Emperor, a title which even the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V was forced to recognize in 1547
.[ Julian M. Stargardt, LL.B., F.R.G.S.; 1572 Byzantium Nunc Constantinopolis – Georg Braun (1541-1622) and Frans Hogenberg (1535-90)] Good impression; light toning and soiling; stain to left blank margin repeated but lighter to right upper corner ; light stain to lower right, over large ship .

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 52]. 330 by 485mm (13 by 19 inches).   ref: 3215  €2000

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