"Barcelona in Hispania", Meisner, Daniel
Subject: Barcelona, Spain
Period: 1638 (published)
Publication: Sciographia Cosmica
Color: Hand Color
5.8 x 3.5 inches
14.7 x 8.9 cm
This miniature panoramic view of Barcelona from the northeastern slopes of Montjuich is decorated with ships in the harbor and a lutist in the foreground. The view is based on Braun & Hogenberg's larger view of the city, which in turn was derived from a series of views by Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen (circa 1535) commissioned by Charles V. The Latin motto at top In Foedera quaedam nostrorum temporum translates as "certain treaties in our times." The verses in Latin and German below caution the reader about poor alliances (here depicted as loose strings on the lute), thereby alluding to the challenges faced between the Protestant Germans and Catholic Spain.
Meisner's emblem book, containing over 800 pictorial-poetic compositions, was enormously popular throughout Europe in the 17th century. The plan views were based on the work of De Bry, Braun & Hogenberg, Merian and others with the addition of emblematic figures or scenes in the foreground, juxtaposed with moralizing and edifying verses beneath the image and a Latin motto at top. It was originally issued with 52 plates as the Thesaurus philo-politicus in 1623-24. After Meisner's death in 1625, Eberhard Kieser, with assistance from Johann L. Gottfried, completed the work and published it until 1631. The plates then appeared in the eight parts of Sciographia Cosmica published by Paulus Furst between 1637-78. The plates for these editions were renumbered alphanumerically in the upper right corners - A-H (identifying the 8 parts) and 1-100 (plate number). They were finally issued in 1700 and 1704 in Rudolf J. Helmer's Politica-politica.
References: cf. Fussel, p. 56.
A small abrasion to the right of the lutist and a spot in verses below.