"Algerii Saracenorum Urbis fortissimae, in Numidia Africae Provincia s Tructae, iuxta Balearicos fluctus Maeditereranei aequoris Hispaniam contra Othomanor Pricipu imperio redactae, imago", Braun & Hogenberg
Subject: Algiers, Algeria
Period: 1612 (published)
Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. II
Color: Black & White
19.5 x 13.8 inches
49.5 x 35.1 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 superb and detailed plan of the city of Algiers with its surrounding fortifications and estates. A figure at bottom, dressed in turban and kaftan, symbolizes that this once important port of the Kingdom of Aragon is now ruled by the Ottoman Empire. A key at bottom identifies the important sites including five great mosques. Latin text on verso.
References: Fussel, pp. 199-201; Van der Krogt (Vol. IV) #73.
A nice impression on a bright sheet with a coat of arms watermark, one tiny paper flaw in the key at bottom, and a hint of offsetting.