This view of Naples was included in Civitates Orbis Terrarum, the first systematic series of city views, published in Amsterdam between 1572 and 1617. This great work included bird’s-eye views and map of all major cities in Europe, plus important cities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America; all the known world at that time. Edited and annotated by theologian and publisher Georg Braun with most plates engraved by Franz Hogenberg, the Civitates was intended as a companion volume for Abraham Ortelius’s 1570 world atlas, Theatrum orbis terrarum. Over a hundred different artists and cartographers contributed to the sumptuous artwork, which not only shows the towns but also features additional elements, such as figures in local dress, ships, ox-drawn carts, courtroom scenes, and topographical details to help convey the situation, commercial power, and political importance of the towns depicted. These views provide wonderfully comprehensive views of urban life at the turn of the 17th century.
Naples played a memorable role in Greek mythology as the site where the siren Parthenope was buried. . According to legend, the sirens cast themselves into the sea in fury after Odysseus failed to be seduced by their songs. The fertile soil and sea breezes made Naples one of the favorite vacation destinations for the Romans and is why between 1450 and 1550 the city grew from 40,00 to 150,00 inhabitants and Europe’s second biggest city after Paris. It was a bustling city and trading port with impregnable citadels of protection. Naples is the third largest city in Italy today and the site of The National Archeological Museum containing many treasures removed from Pompeii. The key at the bottom of the engraving identifies 71 places.
15 ¾ x 20 ½ inches, sheet.
Engraving with modern hand coloring.
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