"Urbium Praecipuarum Totius Mundi Liber Tertius", Braun & Hogenberg
Subject: Title Pages
Period: 1581 (circa)
Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum
Color: Black & White
8.9 x 13.9 inches
22.6 x 35.3 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.
This exquisite title page is from the third volume of Braun and Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum. Its symbolism emphasizes the virtues, values, progress, and abundance of the contemporary city-state. The elaborate architectural structure is populated by seven allegorical female figures: Pax, Concordia, Justicia, Opulentia, Securitas, Communitas, and Obedientia. At bottom, two youthful figures peer through a doorway at a scene showing the construction of the Tower of Babel. Latin text on verso. Published between 1581-1616.
References: Shirley (TP) #11A; Van der Krogt (Vol. IV) #41:1.3.
A crisp impression on a sheet with a crossed arrows watermark. There is a bit of marginal soiling and a small chip in the lower margin.