Exceptional old color example of Braun & Hogenberg's Plan of Moscow. This decorative and detailed plan of Moscow (Moskva) appeared in a Latin edition of the Civitatus Orbis Theatrum. The map is believed to be derived from a Russian survey prepared at the orders of Boris Fyodorovich Godunov (c. 1551-1605), Tsar of Muscovy from 1598 onward, and was probably prepared prior to 1630. The original Russian plan has apparantly not survived, and Braun & Hogenberg may have used a copy made in 1610 for King Sigismund III of Poland. The plan shows the old city which surrounds the Kremlin and the Kitai Gorod or Fortified City. The name Kremlin first appeared as Kreml' (or High Town) in an account of the fire in the town in 1331. It was founded in 1147 at the junction of two rivers, the Moskva and the Neglinnaya. As Moscow grew, the Kremlin became the royal, religious and secular heart of the city. Until Tsar Peter I transferred his seat of government to his new city of St Petersburg in 1713, it was the capital city. beyond the walls of Kitai Gorod, another section grew up, called Belgorod or White City, which was in 1584 after the death of Tsar Ivan the Terrible with a wall which spanned 6 miles and included 28 towers. A nice wide margined example in old color.
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.