Auction 130, Lot 626

"Urbis Romae Situs cum Iis Quae Adhuc Conspiciuntur…", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Rome, Italy

Period: 1570 (dated)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

Size:
20 x 15 inches
50.8 x 38.1 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 magnificent copper engraved birds-eye view of the ancient city of Rome was drawn by Pyrrhus Ligorius of Naples. It shows a historic view of the city, with three figures in the foreground attired as during the time of the Roman Empire. There are many interesting places shown, including the Baths of Diocletian (Thermae Diocletiani), the Vatican, the Amphitheater, which is roughly in the center and the massive aqueducts to the right. This view was reprinted from the earlier Urbis Romae totius olim orbis domitricis also by Ligorius. The Latin text on verso is very small and obviously engraved by a master.

References:

Condition: A

Close margin at top. Worm track at lower corners is filled with paper cast with a little facsimile. Good impression on full sheet with later coloring.

Estimate: $1,000 - $1,400

Sold for: $1,200

Closed on 12/2/2009

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