Single sheet (15 x 21 inches). Fine engraved views of Anea, Diu, Azemmour and Old Goa, all with early hand-colouring in full, Latin text on verso (lower margin with extensive early repair, central vertical fold).
Magnificent views of Anea, Azemmour, Diu and Old Goa from the French edition of George Braun and Frans Hogenberg's landmark “Civitates orbis terrarium”, completed in Cologne between 1572 and 1618, and among the most beautiful and important images of Renaissance cities.
The beautiful engraving shows the “ravaged city after 1486. The Berbers arrived in the area as early as the 7th century; their settlement subsequently evolved into the small independent Kingdom of Anfa, which in the 14th century became a major port. In 1486 Anfa was destroyed by the Portuguese, who in 1515 used its ruins to build a fort, called Casablanca, after the nearby burgeoning town of the same name” (Taschen page 133).
Azemmour, or Azamor, “lies on the left bank of the Oum Rabie River, some 72 km south of Casablanca. In 1486 the small town started paying a tribute to the Portuguese and in 1508 was conquered by them. In 1513, however, when the local governor Moulay Zayam refused to pay the tribute, the town was destroyed” (Taschen page 133).
The engraving shows Diu in “cavalier perspective from the sea. The town is encircled by secure ramparts, from which three jetties lead out into the water. Rising above its severely geometric skyline are a number of tall towers that served as look-out posts. The fort at the eastern end of the island, on the right-hand of the picture, was built in 1535. Diu is a small town situated on an island measuring 15 square miles in western India. In the naval battle of Diu, waged in 1509 against a combined fleet of Egyptian, Arab and India forces, it was conquered by the Portuguese. This victory secured Portugal's supremacy in the Indian Ocean” (Taschen page 133).
Goa, “which lies on a peninsula, is seen across the Mandovi River delta in front of the open sea. A naval battle is depicted on the right: after the Portuguese had discovered the sea route to India in 1489, they used the enmities between the various Indian regional kingdoms to their advantage and in 1510 conquered Goa. The city became the colonial capital of Portuguese India. Portugal would maintain possession of Goa and the surrounding area for 450 years. Old Goa, or Velha Goa, as the city is now called, is the capital of Goa, India's smallest state, with 1.45 million inhabitants” (Taschen “Cities of the World”, 2008, page 133).
The “Civitates…” was the first extensive series of town views that treated its subject matter in an accurate and meaningful way. Earlier collections of town views were far more limited in scope, and often made no real attempt to render the subject city with any degree of realism being simply a record of the existence of a town. Certainly the striking beauty and accuracy of Braun and Hogenberg's production was entirely unprecedented. Earlier collections contained no more than a handful of views, usually only of the more important cities, while the “Civitates…” contained literally hundreds of views, including many of smaller towns for which no earlier views are known. Even for the larger, important cities, the “Civitates…” is of the utmost importance to the history of their topography.For more information about this map, or a warm welcome to see it and others in our library at 72nd Street, NYC, please contact Caleb Kiffer