This bird's-eye view map of the city of Moscow includes a key to 20 locations within the city. The image was published as part of ‘Theatri Praecipuarum Totius Mundi Urbium’, the final part of the six volume city atlas ‘Civitates Orbis Terrarum’ published in Cologne, Germany, between 1572 and 1617. The atlas was edited by German geographer and cleric Georg Braun (1541-1622) and the maps were engraved by the German engraver Frans (Franz) Hogenberg (1535-1590). In total the atlas contained 546 plates of cities of the known world. Most were birds-eye view maps (or perspective maps), like this example.
Franz Hogenberg was born in Mechelen, Antwerp, the son of an engraver, etcher and woodcutter. He came from a family of artists, who moved between Germany, France and England. He worked with mapmaker Abraham Ortelius in Antwerp from the 1550s. He may then have moved to England, as he produced a series of prints of English views and people, including portraits of William Cecil, Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I. He later engraved works for Ortelius’s ‘Theatrum orbis terrarum’ (1570) and also for ‘Civitates orbis terrarium’, edited by Georg Braun. It is thought that he was the initiator of the later project, as he compiled much of the content and engraved most of the 546 prospect views, bird’s-eye views and maps. He died in Cologne in 1590.
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