"Mets", Braun & Hogenberg
Subject: Metz, France
Period: 1575 (circa)
Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. II
Color: Hand Color
19.1 x 14 inches
48.5 x 35.6 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 lovely bird's-eye view of Metz shows the fortified city surrounded by the Seille and Moselle Rivers. A numbered key at bottom right identifies numerous places, and is continued in a field above. The famous cathedral, Saint-Etienne de Metz, looms above the city near the center of the view. French manuscript text on verso.
References: Fussel, pp. 150-51.
A nice impression with attractive color on watermarked paper. There is show-through of manuscript text on verso confined to top blank margin and marginal soiling.