Hand colored Map of Genoa Italy 1574 by Georg Braun and Franz Hogenberg
This 16th century hand-colored map of the Italian city of Genoa, Genua, from the Civitate Orbis Terrarum, the greatest book of town views of that time, edited by the German Georg Braun (1541-1622) and the engraver, mapmaker and painter Franz Hogenberg (ca. 1540-ca. 1590).
The port and city of Genoa are presented from an ideal, elevated viewpoint from the south. Birthplace of Columbus in 1451, the city as featured here in 1574 still held an important economic position within Europe’s ruling houses. An principal port city and shipping center, Genoa was also home to the Banco di San Giorgio, founded in 1407, the oldest chartered bank in Europe and the world. The Bank served as financier to many European monarchs throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, gaining widespread influence. Ferdinand and Isabella maintained accounts there, as did the city’s native son, Christopher Columbus. Charles V was at times heavily in debt to the Bank.
The city’s layout is clearly seen as it slopes down to the sea. At its center stands the 13th century Romanesque cathedral of San Lorenzo. The Palazzo Ducale is seen higher up the hillside as the medieval complex it had been since the thirteenth century. The marvelous eighty meter high lighthouse in the lower left quadrant is another symbol of the city.
Ships of myriad origins are depicted plying the waters near the port, further underscoring the city’s importance. The cartouche text provides additional information as to the character of the merchants and the city’s governance.
This fine hand colored map is in good age related condition with cut lower margin.
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