Auction 129, Lot 566

"Sant Juan del Foratche [on sheet with] Jerenna", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Spain

Period: 1598 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

19.5 x 14.8 inches
49.5 x 37.6 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 lovely plate presents views of the vicinity of Seville including the ruins of the castle at San Juan de Aznalfarche and the hillside town of Gerena. At bottom are three Roman graves. At the sides are two illustrations of the great bell tower of the cathedral of Seville, known as La Giralda. The view on the left depicts the beautiful architectural façade, while the view of the right provides a cutaway revealing the interior stairway, which was so grand that it could be ascended on horseback, as observed by Georg Hoefnagel in 1565. As with many of Hoefnagel's compositions, he has drawn himself into the picture (mounting the stairway). Latin text on verso.

References: Fussel p. 350.

Condition: A

Minor soil and pencil notations in the blank margins.

Estimate: $700 - $800

Sold for: $550

Closed on 9/23/2009