"Cusco, Regni Peru In Novo Orbe Caput", Braun & Hogenberg
Period: 1572 (circa)
Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum
Color: Hand Color
9.4 x 10.6 inches
23.9 x 26.9 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 one of only two New World cities depicted in the Civitatis Orbis Terrarum. It shows Cusco at the time of the Spanish conquest. The city is very orderly, laid out in a rectangular grid and surrounded by impressive walled fortifications. Native and Spanish figures fill the foreground and the Inca king is being carried aloft on a covered throne. Trimmed from a folio sheet that also contained a plan of Mexico City.
References: Fussel pp. 132-33.
Original color with some minor oxidization and toning. Professionally remargined at left.