1572. Cologne, 1572-1617.
18 7/8 x 12.75 inches. Framed map, hand colored; one small hole and one small spot in the margin, one small hole and one small spot within the plate, frame lightly scuffed, over all very good condition. Not examined out of frame.
§ Fine example with early coloring of this important early view of Cairo from a hillside opposite the Nile, from Braun & Hogenberg’s Civitates Orbis Terrarum, the most important “town book” of the 16th Century. The view incorporates elaborate detail, including fortified walls and buildings, and a number of horsemen and other costumed figures in the foreground. Georg Braun’s commentary on the view translates as follows: “Cairo is said to number 30,000 houses altogether. There are very many princely palaces and temples here, but also many hospices, schools and baths and large buildings containing the tombs of important persons. The streets contain such a throng of people, horses and mules that it is not possible to pass without obstacle. [...] The women, too, wear trousers, made of silk, trimmed with pearls and precious gems, like the men. The men are also allowed to have several wives.”
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. Braun was the chief editor of the Civitates orbis terrarum, the greatest book of town views ever published. His job entailed hiring artists, acquiring source material for the maps and views, and writing the text, 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. Item #124262