Beautiful antique engraved view of Gaeta and Mola, two coastal villages just north of Naples, published by Matthaus Merian in the middle of the 17th century.
The view, looking northwards along the coast, shows these two coastal towns in a very attractive manner. Large amounts of detail are provided throughout, with many fishing vessels in the harbor.
Gaeta is a small peninsular village 45 miles northwest of Naples, although it is unclear what Mola refers to. This may be referring to a part of the coastal town of Formia.
Matthaus Merian was one of the most prolific and important engravers of Northern Europe of the time, who operated out of Frankfurt. He published and reissued several notable views of Italian cities.
Mathaus Merian (1593-1650) was the father of engraver Matthäus the Younger, and of the painter, engraver, and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian. He was born in Basel, Switzerland and trained in engraving in Zurich. After a time in Nancy, Paris and Strasbourg, he settled in Frankfurt. While there, he worked for Johann Theodor de Bry, the publisher and son of the travel writer. In 1617, he married Maria Magdalena de Bry, Johann Theodor’s daughter. In 1623, Merian took over the de Bry publishing house upon the death of his father-in-law. Merian’s best known works are detailed town views which, due to their accuracy and artistry, form a valuable record of European urban life in the first half of the sixteenth century