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 the title page from Volume I of a Latin edition of Braun & Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum. The large, architectural structure supports three figures with three panels at the bottom of the structure depicting rudimentary dwellings. At top is a figure representing architecture, design and ornament. At left is Minerva, the goddess of cities, and at right is Cain, a symbol of strength and courage.
References: Shirley (TP) #11.
A nice example with a minor crease at center, some faint pencil notations at top right, and marginal soiling.