Catalog Archive
Auction 158, Lot 338

"Oenipons, sive Enipontus Vulgo Insspruct, Tirolensis Comitatus Urbs Amplissima", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Innsbruck, Austria

Period: 1575 (dated)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. II

Color: Hand Color

16.8 x 13.3 inches
42.7 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.

Published in the first atlas of town plans, this engraving shows a westerly view of Innsbruck overlooking the district of Mariahilf. The town hall with its ornate tower can be seen in the middle. On the far left is the Gothic church of St. James which is the present-day site of the 18th-century cathedral of St. James. Costumed figures appear in the foreground while a barge is pulled by a team of horses in the shallow waters of the Inn River. German text on verso.

References: Fussel, pp. 172-73.

Condition: B+

Superb original color on watermarked paper with a printer's crease adjacent to centerfold and a few small spots. There is marginal soiling and a short, archivally-repaired tear in the lower margin.

Estimate: $475 - $600

Sold for: $375

Closed on 6/22/2016