VALCK, Gerard (1652 – 1726). Generale Afbeeldinge van Hof Tot Cleef Als Mede De Stadr Met Des Selfs Vermakelijcke Gesigten. Amsterdam: N. Visscher, 1716.
Single sheet (15 ¼ x 18 ½ inches; 32 x 36 inches framed). Copperplate engraving with original hand color.
A beautiful engraving depicting the city of Cleves, Germany. This is a RARE engraving, Hollstein listing only two copies, with this being the only state.
Cleves is a town in the Lower Rhine region of northwestern Germany near the Dutch border and the River Rhine. From the 11th century onwards, Cleves was capital of a county and later a duchy. Today, Cleves is the capital of the district of Cleves in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The native name Kleff probably derives from Middle Dutch clef, clif 'cliff, bluff', referring to the promontory on which the Schwanenburg castle was constructed. Since the city's coat of arms displays three clovers (German Klee, Low German Kliev), the city's name is sometimes linked by folk etymology to the clover, but the corresponding Dutch word is "klever". Medieval Kleve grew together from four parts - the Castle Schwanenburg, the village below the castle, the first city of Kleve on the Heideberg Hill, and the Neustadt ("New City") from the 14th century. In 1242 Kleve received city rights. The Duchy of Cleves, which roughly covered today's districts of Kleve, Wesel and Duisburg, was united with the Duchy of Mark in 1368, was made a duchy itself in 1417, and then united with the neighboring duchies of Jülich and Berg in 1521, when John III, Duke of Cleves, married Mary, the heiress of Jülich-Berg-Ravenburg.
Kleve's most famous native is Anne of Cleves (1515-1557), daughter of John III, Duke of Cleves and (briefly) wife of Henry VIII of England.
The local line became extinct in the male line in 1609, leading to a succession crisis in the duchies. After the Thirty Years' War, in 1648, the succession dispute was finally resolved with Cleves passing to the elector of Brandenburg, thus becoming an exclave of the territory of Prussia.
During the Thirty Years' War the city had been under the control of the Dutch Republic, which in 1647 had given Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen administrative control over the city. He approved a renovation of the Schwanenburg in the baroque style and commissioned the construction of extensive gardens that greatly influenced European landscape design of the 17th century. Significant amounts of his original plan for Kleve were put into effect and have been maintained to the present, a particularly well-loved example of which is the Forstgarten. For more information on this map, or a warm welcome to see other books and maps of our collection at 72nd Street NYC, please contact Natalie Zadrozna.