"Gandavum, Amplissima Flandriae Urbs, a Julio Caesare Condita...", Braun & Hogenberg
Subject: Ghent, Belgium
Period: 1575 (circa)
Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. I
Color: Hand Color
19.1 x 13.3 inches
48.5 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.
This is a handsome bird's-eye plan of Ghent, a city founded by Julius Caesar. The Schelde and Leie Rivers snake their way through the city. A numbered key identifies over 100 locations in the plan, including the cathedral of Sint-Baaf near the center of the image, and the Sint-Baaf monastery shown at top, surrounded by moats. Latin text on verso.
References: Fussel, p. 72.
A dark impression on watermarked paper with professionally repaired centerfold separations in top and bottom blank margins, a tiny tear in the bottom blank margin, and marginal soiling.