Decorative early view of Braun & Hogenberg's view of Lintz, from an elevated viewpoint, looking south from Across the Danube.
The map is based upon a landscape painting by Lukas van Valckenborch, engraved by Georg Hoefnagel in 1594.
The text on the verso provides: "It is indeed impossible to say how many terrible fires have ravaged the city in the past and in more recent times. The first occasion was 1451, just at Eastertide, when it went up almost entirely in flames. Only a short while later, in 1459, when the city had risen but a little from the ashes, a raging blaze destroyed not only private and public buildings but also the bell tower belonging to the main church. This fire was particularly terrifying because it broke out at night. And then in 1542, at the very time when King Ferdinand was staying in the castle with his most beloved wife, part of the city was destroyed for a third time by a large and devastating fire. Thanks to the extraordinary generosity and paternal care of this king, however, Linz was restored to its former glory within a short time."
Presented in a perspective framework from the northwest, the view of Hagan castle - here almost hidden by roots and brambles - and the River Danube, on the far side of which appears Linz. Dominating the city from the top of a hill on the right is the imperial palace (N), which arose from 1477 out of a 9th-century fortress and served Emperor Frederick III and his son Maximilian I as an imperial residence. The parish church of the Assumption of the Virgin (K) rises prominently on the left. In the centre stands the Landhaus (M), begun in 1568, whose tower was further heightened on several occasions. The Landhaus formed the focus of Linz's economic and cultural life and from 1574 onwards housed the Protestant estates school, whose teaching staff included Johannes Kepler. Running across the background are the Alpine foothills between Erzberg (R) and Traunstein (Q).
Georg Braun (1541-1622) was born and died in Cologne. His primary vocation was as Catholic cleric; he spent thirty-seven years as canon and dean at the church St. Maria ad Gradus, in Cologne. Braun was the chief editor of the Civitates orbis terrarum, the greatest book of town views ever published. His job entailed hiring artists, acquiring source material for the maps and views, and writing the text. In this role, he was assisted by Abraham Ortelius. Braun lived into his 80s, and he was the only member of the original team to witness the publication of the sixth volume in 1617.
Frans Hogenberg (ca. 1540-ca. 1590) was a Flemish and German engraver and mapmaker who also painted. He was born in Mechelen, south of Antwerp, the son of wood engraver and etcher Nicolas Hogenberg. Together with his father, brother (Remigius), uncle, and cousins, Frans was one member of a prominent artistic family in the Netherlands.
During the 1550s, Frans worked in Antwerp with the famous mapmaker Abraham Ortelius. There, he engraved the maps for Ortelius’ groundbreaking first atlas, published in Antwerp in 1570, along with Johannes van Deotecum and Ambrosius and Ferdinand Arsenius. It is suspected he engraved the title page as well. Later, Ortelius supported Hogenberg with information for a different project, the Civitates orbis terrarium (edited by Georg Braun, engraved by Hogenberg, published in six volumes, Cologne, 1572-1617). Hogenberg engraved the majority of the work’s 546 prospects and views.
It is possible that Frans spent some time in England while fleeing from religious persecution, but he was living and working in Cologne by 1580. That is the city where he died around 1590. In addition to his maps, he is known for his historical allegories and portraits. His brother, Remigius, also went on to some fame as an engraver, and he died around the same time as his brother.