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 fascinating sheet includes two scenes of Venice. At left is the Piazza San Marco with the Basilica and the Campanile in the background, with several Venetian nobles and a pair of fighting cats in the square. At right is the Doge's Palace during the fire of 1577, which destroyed the Scrutinio Room and the Great Council Chamber, as well as several famous works of art. Engraved by Georg Hoefnagel. Latin text on verso, published circa 1598.
References: Fussel, pp. 417-419.
Excellent impression and color with a few small holes along the unengraved centerfold, a short tear in the bottom blank margin, and marginal soiling.