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A scarce early plan of Florence, published in Paris by De Belleforest. In it, we see a raging Arno flowing from the Tuscan hills past the great landmarks of Florence. Cherubs and angels frame traditional Florentine heraldry in the clouds above the view.

This work comes from the De Belleforest's 1575 edition of Munster's 1544 Cosmographia, one of the most important and influential works of its type in the 16th century. In this edition, rather than reproducing Munster's view, Belleforest compiled and engraved his own based on his extensive knowledge of the city. This view is on a much larger scale as well as being more detailed and embellished.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria de Fiore is the centerpiece of the picture. Various other landmarks of Venice can be located, though identification of the Palazzio Vecchio is uncertain. The walls of Venice are shown in their sixth iteration, shortly after having been upgraded to better withstand artillery. The crest in the center top is the Florentine Lily, distinguishable from a fleur-de-lys by its stamens. The text at the bottom reads as slightly defensive from De Belleforest, saying that this was only the closest he could get to make this image with the present location of Florence.

This is one of the best obtainable 16th-century plans of Florence. The view is decorated with marvelous imagery and hand color, and, in all, is an attractive work.

Condition Description
Rubricated. See-through to text on verso. Stain in upper right corner away from image.