"Hierosolyma Urbs Sancta, Iudeae, Totiusque Orientis Longe Clarissima, qua Amplitudine ac Magnificentia hoc Nostro Aevo Conspicua Est", Braun & Hogenberg
Subject: Jerusalem, Holy Land
Period: 1645 (circa)
Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. II
Color: Hand Color
16.4 x 12.9 inches
41.7 x 32.8 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.
A splendid bird's-eye view of modern Jerusalem as viewed from the east, probably from the vantage point of the Mount of Olives. The view appears to be based on a drawing by Venetian artist Domenico dalle Greche, who accompanied a Czech nobleman, Voldrich Prefat z Vlkanova, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1546. A key in the cartouche at right identifies 48 points of interest, the majority of which refer to Christian sites and traditions. At top is a Latin verse from the Prophet Eekiel: Ezekiel, "This is Jerusalem! I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her." This refers to the fact that Jerusalem is a sacred city to three of the worlds major religions. The dominance of Islam during this period is represented by the five figures in the foreground and the buildings with minarets topped with crescents, the most prominent of which is the Dome of the Rock. French text on verso.
References: Fussel, pp. 190-91 & 194; Laor #1040.
A nice impression on a clean, bright sheet with minor show-through of text on verso and professional, nearly invisible repairs to two tears (2" and 0.75" within the title) and to short centerfold separations in the top and bottom blank margins.