|Method||Copper engraved with early hand colour|
|Artist||Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg|
|Published||Depingebat Georgius Hoefnagle. Cum Privilegio. [c. 1575 printing]|
|Dimensions||Image and Plate 365 x 488 mm, Sheet 405 x 530 mm|
A coloured impression of the earliest engraved view of Oxford, along with a prospect of Windsor below, from Braun and Hogenberg's 'Civitates Orbis Terrarum', Volume 2. The emergence of the 'City of dreaming Spires' is clearly documented with the major landmarks of early-modern Oxford accurately depicted.
The panorama is taken from the east of the city, presumably present day South Park. The steeples of Christ Church Cathedral, All Saints and St.Mary's Chruch project out from the cluster of rooftops. The towers of Merton College Chapel and Magdalen bell tower dominate the skyline. Georgius Hoefnagle's original ink and chalk study for this view of Oxford is held in the Royal Collection and is presumed to have been drawn from life during his visit to England in 1568.
'Civitates Orbis Terrarum' was a hugely successful publication and as such the plates appear to have been printed a number of times, at some point during the printing life of the Oxford and Windsor plate, the top left corner of the plate split and later issues of the panorama are printed without the top left corner of the border.
Between 1572 and 1617 Georg Braun (1541-1622) and Frans Hogenberg (1535-1590) published six volumes of their Civitates Orbis Terrarum, containing over 500 prospects, views, and maps of mostly European cities, envisioned as a companion to Ortelius' atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. Braun was the editor of the series, with Hogenberg as principle engraver. They relied mainly on existing cartography, but also on drawings made by the Antwerp artist Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1600), who had travelled through most of Western Europe. After Joris Hoefnagel's death his son Jakob continued the work for the Civitates.
Georgius Hoefnagle or Joris Hoefnagel (Antwerp, 1542 – Vienna, 24 July 1601) was a Flemish painter and engraver, the son of a diamond merchant. He is famous for his miniature work, especially on a missal in the imperial library at Vienna. He painted animals and plants to illustrate works on natural history, and his engravings (especially for Braun's Civitates orbis terrarum, 1572, and Ortelius's Theatrum orbis terrarum, 1570) earned him a seminal place amongst early topographical draftsmen.
Condition: This impression retains the upper left corner as it broke off the plate at some point during the prints. Vertical centrefold as issued.