"Nitidissimae Civitatis Mechlineensis, in Meditullio Brabantiae Sitae, Exactis Delineatio", Braun & Hogenberg
Subject: Mechelen, Belgium
Period: 1581 (circa)
Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. III
Color: Hand Color
18.1 x 13.1 inches
46 x 33.3 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 lovely bird's-eye view of the fortified city of Mechelen, the birthplace of Franz Hogenberg. At the center of the town is the towering cathedral of Sint-Rombout with the Dyle River flowing both through the city and around it, forming a protective moat. Two very handsome coats of arms decorate the top and figures overlook Mechelen from a hilltop in the foreground. German text on verso.
References: Fussel, p. 220.
Contemporary color on a lightly toned sheet with a somewhat uneven impression at top left. There are several chips and a few edge tears confined to the blank margins that have been closed on verso with archival tape.