Auction 139, Lot 543

"Roma", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Rome, Italy

Period: 1572 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Color: Hand Color

18.8 x 13 inches
47.8 x 33 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 great view of 'modern' Rome, based on G. F. Comocio's plan of 1569, shows the city from the west, with parts of Ancient Rome still in evidence. The city walls are prominent, including part of the original Aurelian Walls dating from the 3rd century, and the more modern bastions in the foreground. The most prominent structures visible in this view are the Castell Sant' Angelo with a bridge connecting the Vatican with the east bank of the Tiber, and the Pantheon, the large domed building at the center. The Coliseum can be seen to the right of center. At bottom center is a renaissance couple flanked by two cartouches containing the keys to the map. German text on verso.

References: Fussel, p. 112, 114-15; Goss (Cities) #46.

Condition: A

Lovely color with one small, faint stain and a bit of printer's ink reside in the keys at bottom, and light soiling in the blank margins.

Estimate: $1,600 - $2,000

Sold for: $1,800

Closed on 2/15/2012