By: Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg
Date: 1574 (Published) Cologne
Dimensions: 13.25 x 18.75 inches (33.7 x 47.6 cm)
This bird’s eye view is one of the earliest pictorial depictions of Ghent, the third largest city in Belgium. Although archaeological evidence shows that the area was inhabited in prehistoric times, it was not until the Roman period that an organized community of note was established in the area. While written records of Roman occupation have not come to light, it is known that there was Roman presence in the area. A numbered key identifies the city’s many landmarks, including the cathedral of Saint Bavo, the church of Saint Nicholas, and the famous Belfry of Ghent. An interesting handwritten annotation, ‘AD 1610’ in an old hand perhaps was written by one of the early owners of the map.
Georg Braun (1541-1622) was born and died in Cologne. His primary vocation was as Catholic cleric; he spent thirty-seven years as canon and dean at the church St. Maria ad Gradus, in Cologne. Braun was the chief editor of the Civitates Orbis Terrarum, the greatest book of town views of that time to be published. His job entailed hiring artists, acquiring source material for the maps and views, and writing the text. In this role, he was assisted by Abraham Ortelius. Braun lived into his 80s, and he was the only member of the original team to witness the publication of the sixth volume in 1617.
Frans Hogenberg (ca. 1540-ca. 1590) was a Flemish and German engraver and mapmaker who also painted. He was born in Mechelen, south of Antwerp, the son of wood engraver and etcher Nicolas Hogenberg. Together with his father, brother (Remigius), uncle, and cousins, Frans was a member of a prominent artistic family in the Netherlands. During the 1550s, he worked in Antwerp with the famous mapmaker Abraham Ortelius. There he engraved the maps for Ortelius’ groundbreaking first atlas, published in Antwerp in 1570. Later, Ortelius supported Hogenberg with information for the Civitates Orbis Terrarum. Hogenberg engraved the majority of the work’s 546 prospects and views.
Condition: This hand colored map is in B+ condition. Faint bleeding and slight loss of color at the centerfold and a centerfold separation in the lower edge which slightly enters the image.
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