"Haec est Nobilis, & Florens illa Neapolis, Campaniae Civita, Antea Parthenope...", Braun & Hogenberg
Subject: Naples, Italy
Period: 1572 (circa)
Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. I
Color: Black & White
19.1 x 13.4 inches
48.5 x 34 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 detailed bird's-eye view of Naples presents the city in a plan-like form. After a massive population increase between 1450 and 1550, Naples became the second largest city in Europe after Paris. The city's port is depicted with high traffic reflecting the city's importance as a trading center. Its fortifications, including Castel Nuovo, Castel dell' Ovo, and Castel Sant' Elmo, are prominently shown. A key running along the bottom of the sheet identifies 71 places of interest. Latin text on verso.
References: Fussel, pp. 116-17
Faint toning along the centerfold and an adjacent printer's crease. There are a few light damp stains and a short, closed fold separation all confined to the blank margins.