"Tiburtum vulgo Tivoli", Braun & Hogenberg
Subject: Tivoli, Italy
Period: 1581 (circa)
Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. III
Color: Black & White
17.8 x 13 inches
45.2 x 33 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 interesting composition by George Hoefnagel portrays the city of Tivoli as seen from Mont Tiburtini, with an inset of the famous cascading waterfalls of the River Aniene. The little group shown walking down to the waterfall in the foreground is often taken to be something of a self-portrait of Hoefnagel and Abraham Ortelius, who visited the town and studied it in 1578, as noted in the decorative cartouche. Latin text on verso.
References: Fussel, pp. 257-59.
There is minor offsetting and light toning along the centerfold and edges of the sheet.