Arnhem, Venlo, Gelre, Roermond – G. Braun & F. Hogenberg – 1581-1617

Frans Hogenberg (1535 – 1590) / Georg Braun (1541 – 1622).

Fraaie antieke aanzichten van Arnhem, Venlo, Gelre en Roermond in de 16e eeuw. Oudtijds gekleurde kopergravure uit het derde deel van het beroemde stedenboek Civitates Orbis Terrarum door Braun en Hogenberg.

Beautiful antique views of Arnhem, Venlo, Gelre en Roermond in the 16th century. Contemporary colored copper engraving from the third part of the famous city book Civitates Orbis Terrarum by Braun and Hogenberg.


1 in stock



  • Type: carthografische prent
  • Title: Arnhemium (..). / Venlonum (..). / Gelria (..)/ Ruremunda (..).
  • Publication: 1581-1617
  • Technique: kopergravure, oudtijds gekleurd
  • Carthographer: onbekend
  • Publicer: Gottfried von Kempen e.a.
  • Engraver: Frans Hogenberg
  • Publiced in edition III of: Civitates Orbis Terrarum door Frans Hogenberg en George Braun in Köln
  • 37.0 x 49.3 cm
  • 41.5 x 53.3 cm
  • Verso: Latijnse tekst
  • M3020O
  • Source: Koeman II B&H 3 [17] / Taschen p. 217


Condition: A

Zeer goed, gegeven de leeftijd. Middenvouw als uitgegeven met ruime marges. Scherpe afdruk met fraaie oudtijdse kleuring en een enkel vlekje.

Very good, given age. Centrefold as issued with wide margins. Sharp print with beautiful old-coloring and occasional stains. 


Translation of the title: ‘Arnhem, town in Guelders on the Rhine.’

Following the alteration of the course of the Rhine around 1500, Arnhem – seen in plan view from the south, surrounded and traversed by canals – found itself on the Lower Rhine. In Braun’s day, it numbered almost 4,000 inhabitants. Visible in the southern part of the town is the church of Sint-Eusebius (Grote Kerk), whose foundation stone was laid in 1450. The city walls were also constructed in the 15th century.

Commentary by George Braun: ‘Arnhem lies on the right side of the right arm of the Rhine, about half a mile from the point at which it divides into two. […] The area is marshy, damp and forested, so there is much to hunt here. It is bordered on the east by the IJssel, to the north by the Zuiderzee, to the east by the Vecht and to the south by the Rhine or Lek, which makes for excellent fishing.’


Translation of the title: ‘Venlo, fortified by nature and human skill, illustrious town on the Meuse.’

The bird’s-eye view from the south shows Venlo nestled on the eastern bank of the wide River Meuse and surrounded by moats, canals and fortification walls. Its favourable location formerly made Venlo – chartered in 1343 – a Hanseatic town. In 1543 William the Rich, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, surrendered to the militarily superior Emperor Charles V following a war of succession; signing the Treaty of Venlo sealed the end of the Duchy of Guelders.

Commentary by George Braun: ‘Venlo is a town in Guelders that is well protected both by the works of man and by its natural location; it lies on the right bank of the Meuse, half a mile from Straelen and is an industrious city of commerce.’


Translation of the title: ‘The town of Geldern, which gave its name to the entire region.’

The bird’s-eye plan from the north depicts Geldern – formerly anglicized as Guelders – situated between the arms of the Rivers Fliuth and Niers and behind the fortifications enlarged in the 14th/15th centuries. Prominent bottom left, on the two islands in the Niers, is the castle around which – so legend would have it – Geldern sprang up. The town received its charter in the 13th century. The parish church of St Maria Magdalena is visible on the market square. Geldern is located in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Commentary by George Braun: ‘Many old stories tell how, in the time of Charles the Bald, a terrible and poisonous beast lived beneath an oak tree near the place where Geldern now lies. The Lord of Pont’s two sons, displaying incredible courage, attacked this beast and finely defeated and filled it after fierce resistance. In commemoration of this feat, they built a castle on the bank of the Niers, not far from the Meuse, which they named Gelre, after the many and piteous screams of this beast.’


Translation of the title: ‘Roermond, city in Guelders.’

Commentary by George Braun: ‘Roermond is an important town in the Duchy of Guelders founded exactly on the spot where the Roer flows into the Meuse. It lies three miles from Venlo and was made a bishopric; D. Wilhelmus Lindanus, who became famous for his numerous theological writings, was the city’s first bishop.’

The Dutch town of Roermond lies just 25 km from Venlo, at the mouth of the River Roer, which flows into the Meuse. The Munsterkerk (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk) is visible in the centre, originally part of a Cistercian nunnery. When the region passed to the Spanish Netherlands after the treaty of Venlo, the diocese was reorganized, and the inquisitor Lindanus (Wilhelm van der Lindt), just 38 years old at the time, was installed as bishop at its head but was rejected by the town’s citizens.

Frans Hogenberg & George Braun

Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590) was een belangrijke Vlaamse etser, carthograaf en uitgever.  Hij sympathiseerde met de hervorming en vluchtte van Antwerpen naar Duitsland. In Keulen richtte hij samen met Georg Braun een cartografische drukkerij-uitgeverij op. Georg Braun (1541 – 1622) was redacteur en kanunnik van de Dom van Keulen.

Frans Hogenberg (1535 – 1590) was a Flemish and German painter, engraver, and mapmaker. He was born in Mechelen as the son of Nicolaas Hogenberg. By the end of the 1560’s Frans Hogenberg was employed upon Abraham Ortelius’s Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1570; he is named as engraver of numerous maps. In 1568 he was bannend from Antwerp by the Duke of Alva and travelled to London, where he stayed a few years before emigrating to Cologne. There he immediately embarked on his two most important works, the Civitates published from 1572 and the Geschichtsblätter, which appeared in several series from 1569 until about 1587.

Georg Braun (1541 – 1622) was born in Cologne in 1541. After his studies in Cologne he entered the Jesuit Order as a novice. In 1561 he obtained his bachelor’s degree and in 1562 his Magister Artium. Although he left the Jesuit Order, he studied theology, gaining a licentiate in theology.

Civitates Orbis Terrarum

Braun en Hogenberg stelden in 1572 het stadsgezichtenboek Civitates Orbis Terrarum samen. Dit boek sloeg aan in Duitsland en raakte later overal bekend. Het zesde en laatste deel verscheen in 1617.  Het is de grootste verzameling plattegronden en illustraties die ooit is verschenen. Het boek is ontstaan tussen 1572 en 1617 en bevat 363 kaarten en stadsgezichten van alle belangrijke steden in Europa en steden in Azië, Afrika en Latijns-Amerika. Ruim honderd kunstenaars en cartografen hebben meegewerkt aan deze atlas, die niet alleen plattegronden van steden laat zien maar ook afbeeldingen van mensen in hun landelijke kleding, schepen en topografische afbeeldingen van stad en land. De atlas was bedoeld als gids voor de in 1570 verschenen wereldatlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum van Abraham Ortelius die inderdaad een aantal bladen voor zijn wereldatlas gebruikt heeft.

The Civitates Orbis Terrarum, or the “Braun & Hogenberg”, is a six-volume town atlas and the greatest book of town views and plans ever published: 363 engravings, sometimes beautifully coloured. It was one of the best-selling works in the last quarter of the 16th century. Georg Braun wrote the text accompanying the plans and views on the verso. A large number of the plates were engraved after the original drawings of Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600), who was a professional artist. The first volume was published in Latin in 1572, the sixth volume in 1617. Frans Hogenberg created the tables for volumes I through IV, and Simon van den Neuwel created those for volumes V and VI. Other contributors were cartographer Daniel Freese, and Heinrich Rantzau. Works by Jacob van Deventer, Cornelis Antonisz., Sebastian Münster, and Johannes Stumpf were also used. Translations appeared in German and French.

Following the original publication of Volume 1 of the Civitates in 1572, the next volumes appeared in 1575, 1581, 1588, 1596 and 1617. The German translation of the first volume appeared from 1574 on and the French edition from 1575 on.

Several printers were involved: Theodor Graminaeus, Heinrich von Aich, Gottfried von Kempen, Johannis Sinniger, Bertram Buchholtz and Peter von Brachel, who all worked in Cologne.

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