La Serenissima
By BRAUN, Georg and HOGENBERG, Franz , 1572


Europe Italy
  • Author: BRAUN, Georg and HOGENBERG, Franz
  • Publication place: [Cologne
  • Publication date: 1572-74].
  • Physical description: Double-page engraved plan, original hand colour.
  • Dimensions: 335 by 480mm. (13.25 by 19 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 12781


A fine bird’s-eye view of Venice, published in ‘The earliest systematic city atlas’ (Koeman).

The plan is based on Forlani’s map of 1565. The city’s landmarks are shown on the map and named in the key below the plan. The lagoon is dominated by sailing vessels, signifying the city’s great maritime power. In the foreground, a vignette shows the Doge’s procession with his court, the names of each member written above.

Published in Cologne in a series of six volumes between 1572 and 1617, the ‘Civitates’ attempts to present, for the first time, a systematic account of all the major settlements and cities of the then-known World. They appear in a realistic, faithfully represented, and recognisable style, using a combination of two-dimensional plans, three-dimensional views, and bird’s-eye perspectives. The subsequent atlas proved hugely popular with the new urban mercantile elite, who were hungry for information on the far flung cities of the world.


  1. Koeman 4607 state 2.