Copper engraving with original hand-colouring, and with Latin text on verso . Overall sheet size: 55.1cms x 40.8cms. Image size: 485mm x 347mm. Signed and dated bottom right drawn by Jakob Hoefnagel, son of Georg, in Regensburg in the year 1594. 3.2cm old strengthening on top of centrefold; one minute crack at centrefold and one pinprick in image only visible if held up to the light; back of map browned from previous framing with remnants of old tape at margin edges on verso else glorious example.
There are two views of Regensburg in the Civitates; this one here emphasises its political and economic significance. It is viewed from a hilltop looking over a wide expanse of countryside in the foreground , the cathedral (designated with the letter H) rises above the sea of other houses and the cities’ other churches. The draughtsman has included himself in the right hand foreground and has signed and dated his work. (See the Taschen edition of Cities of the World Complete edition of the Colour plates of 1572-1617). Regensburg is a city in Bavaria, south-east Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, at the northernmost bend in the Danube. The first settlements in Regensburg date to the Stone Ages. The Celtic name Radasbona was the oldest name given to a settlement near the present city. Around AD 90 the Romans built a small cohort-fort in what would now be the suburbs. In 179 the Roman fort Castra Regina was built for Legio III Italica during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. It was an important camp on what was then the northern fringe of the empire. It corresponds to what is today the core of Regensburg’s Alstadt.
The Civitates Orbis Terrarum – Cities of the whole World – was one of the best-selling works of the late sixteenth-century. It was a monumental work completed over 45 years between 1572 and 1617. It was the first systematic city atlas (containing the first printed views of many towns). Braun wrote the text and Ortelius – who travelled with the artist Joris Hoefnagel – supplied much of the material, which was then engraved by Novellus and Hogenburg. There were a number of editions, mostly with Latin text, but it is extremely difficult (and as Koeman says of secondary importance) to differentiate between them, as the state of the plates and their number and order does not vary.