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 sheet containing two panoramic views of Oxford and Windsor engraved by Georg Hoefnagel. Oxford is viewed from the vantage point of Headington Hill, with the distinctive features of Magdalen College tower and the spires of Christ Church Cathedral and St. Mary's clearly visible. Windsor Castle is viewed from the north with the distinctive walls, towers and battlements of the royal castle dominating the skyline. Each view includes figures of scholars and courtiers in the foreground. French text on verso.
References: Fussel, pp. 136-38; Van der Krogt (Vol. IV) #3253.
On a lightly toned sheet with some minor abrasions along the centerfold and a 1.75" centerfold separation at bottom that has been closed on verso with archival tape. There is a large chip confined to the right blank margin.