"Traiectum", Braun & Hogenberg
Subject: Utrecht, Netherlands
Period: 1572 (circa)
Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. I
Color: Black & White
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 handsome bird's-eye plan depicts the burgeoning city of Utrecht, which had become the seat of an archbishopric in 1559. The rectangular-shaped town plan is surrounded by fields, farms, and windmills. The map includes scenes of a farmer plowing, a workman going to his chores and a typical upper-class couple of the period. The town itself has each building and parcel of land delineated as well as notes of the streets and buildings of interest. The Gothic cathedral of Sint-Maarten is shown at the center of the city. Decorated with two coats-of-arms and three strapwork cartouches. Latin text on verso.
References: Fussel, p. 78.
A nice impression on watermarked paper with a small, professionally repaired hole along centerfold just below the neatline at bottom.