Auction 128, Lot 621

"Granada", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Spain, Granada

Period: 1572 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

20 x 12.8 inches
50.8 x 32.5 cm

Braun & Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum or "Cities of the World" was published between 1572 and 1617. Within the six volumes, 531 towns and cities were depicted on 363 plates, providing the reader with the pleasures of travel without the attendant discomforts. Braun wrote in the preface to the third book, "What could be more pleasant than, in one's own home far from all danger, to gaze in these books at the universal form of the earth . . . adorned with the splendor of cities and fortresses and, by looking at pictures and reading the texts accompanying them, to acquire knowledge which could scarcely be had but by long and difficult journeys?" Braun and Hogenberg incorporated an astonishing wealth of information into each scene beyond the city layout and important buildings. The plates provide an impression of the economy and prominent occupations, and illustrate local costumes, manners and customs.

This is a magnificent copperplate view of the famous, historic city of Granada, as seen from the east. It is one of at least three views of the important city that were published by Braun & Hogenberg beginning in 1572 in their epic atlas of city views; the date on the view is 1563. The three parts of Granada proper are detailed and named; Granada, Albaicin, and Antequerela. The grand cartouche floats in the sky above and incorporates a key of important buildings; Alhambra, S. Helena, Los Theatinos, el Bosco, el Castillo major, Palatio Real Antiquo, el Castillo Atobin, and twelve more. The foreground is filled with contemporary citizens of the town, from peasant to grandee, all within a lovely pastoral setting. The Moors ruled this city for about 800 years, until 1492, when it was recaptured by Spain. They left behind the beautiful Alhambra, or Red Fortress, shown to the right of center. The extremely decorative cartouche is flanked by inhabitants of the city, garlands, a falcon and reclining figures. Latin text on verso with page number 4.


Condition: A

Near fine example with professional restoration to freshen original color and to close a few short marginal tears.

Estimate: $800 - $1,000

Sold for: $475

Closed on 5/20/2009