Civitates Orbis Terrarum – Cities of the World


Faithful facsimile edition of all six volumes from German libraries.
Format: 28x41cm, totalling approx. 1600 pages with more than 600 coloured etchings.
The 40-page academic commentary text of Volume I by Max Schefold contains an introduction to the entire work as well as a catalogue explaining all vedutas of Volume I. Volumes II to VI are each complete with accompanying books containing source references and translations of the inscriptions.

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Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg: Beschreibung und Contrafactur der vornembster Stät der Welt 1574–1618

The earliest comprehensive collection of realistic city vedutas of the world

The world as known in the early 17th century

Two generations before Matthäus Merian, the Cologne theologian Georg Braun and the Flemish copper engraver Franz Hogenberg, together with other experienced artists, created a large-scale city vedutas which became increasingly famous over the centuries. Their work comprises views and maps of cities from around the then known world – hence the title of the first of six volumes, which was published in 1576: Civitates Orbis Terrarum. The elaborately designed and lavishly coloured large-format images that accompanied the anecdotal descriptions were intended to convey a new image of the world to all those who enjoyed a humanist education.

Realistic city vedutas as historical documents

To improve our knowledge of medieval cities before their destruction in the Thirty Years War and the ensuing reconstruction in Baroque style, these excellent etchings are of tremendous importance, particularly since they provide not only detailed depictions of towns and landscapes but also a great deal of additional information: coats of arms, popular genre scenes of the life of farmers and fishers, local customs and fashion, vessels, carts and carriages of all kind and much more. In the accompanying text Georg Braun describes the geographic situation, the historic development and the economic circumstances of each city, in an instructive and amusing style.

Additional information

Weight 8 kg
Dimensions 28 × 41 cm