Catalog Archive
Auction 189, Lot 425

"Brugae, Flandricarum Urbium Ornamenta", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Bruges, Belgium

Period: 1582 (published)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. I

Color: Hand Color

18.3 x 12.7 inches
46.5 x 32.3 cm
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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.

Fine bird's-eye plan of the medieval city of Bruges filled with detail of the well-laid out city and the surrounding countryside. Embellished with strapwork cartouches, coats of arms and a couple standing on a hill overlooking the city. Braun's motive for adding figures to his city plans, as stated in his introduction, were to discourage the military use of the plans by the Turks because he believed that their religion forbade them from looking on representations of the human form. German text on verso.

References: Fussel, p 73; Van der Krogt (Vol. IV) #660.

Condition: B+

A nice impression on a lightly toned sheet with two small holes in the image along the centerfold, a couple of small stains along the centerfold at the bottom of the image, and marginal soiling.

Estimate: $275 - $350

Sold for: $220

Closed on 9/14/2022