Auction 136, Lot 543

"Alhama", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Andalusia, Spain

Period: 1612 (published)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

17.8 x 13.3 inches
45.2 x 33.8 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 engraving is based on Georg Hoefnagel's 1564 painting of the Spanish city of Alhama, which is located seven miles from the city of Granada. The Camino de Granada is shown in the forefront of this dramatic rocky landscape. Alhama, Arabic for hot water, is well known for its thermal springs, which are illustrated at center and were a favorite haunt of the aristocracy.

References: Fussell, p. 199.

Condition: A

Lovely color and impression with some minor creases. There are a couple of minor tears in the top margin, well away from the image and closed with archival tape.

Estimate: $400 - $500

Sold for: $300

Closed on 6/1/2011