Very rare antique engraved map of France by Frans Hogenberg, prepared for separate publication in Cologne in 1583.
The map is an engraved reduction of the four-sheet woodblock map of France (1570) by Guillaume Postel that was itself an improvement on the one (1560) by Jean Jolivet. The latter's wall map of France was issued in several editions from 1560 onwards and was often copied (cf. Van Den Broecke Ort 34). Much work on French cartography had been done between 1560 and 1583, when the present map was made, and there is a substantial improvement here from say, the Ortelius map of France from 1570. Hogenberg probably compiled information from more sources than just Postel, such as Finaeus, de Jode (1578), etc.
This, like much of Hogneberg's work, was either initially conceived as a map for Abraham Ortelius, or as a separate publication to be issued outside of Antwerp. Ortelius evidently had an issue supplanting his first map of France (first issued in 1570), as a possible successor map (Van Den Broecke 35) was not formally included in any atlas, and appears only very rarely. If the same is true of the present map, it may be the case that Ortelius had difficulty obtaining permission to print Postel's map. It was not until 1606, after Ortelius's death, that Vrients would find a map of France to replace the first plate.
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.