A Concise Summary and Augmentation of Braun & Hogenberg's Non-European Views. Appended to the Views of Spain.
As an expansion and reorganization of Braun & Hogenberg's seminal city views, Jansson's eighth and final volume of his atlases of town views offers an intriguing cartographic exploration of cities of the world outside of Europe, appended to an atlas of views of the cities of the Iberian Peninsula. Published in 1657, it reflects Jansson's meticulous attempt to fill the geographical gaps left by the original authors, providing a more globally comprehensive view.
With Braun & Hogenberg's works as a foundation, Jansson endeavored to impose a geographic order that had been absent in the originals. This volume epitomizes his approach, showcasing cities from diverse regions of the world, including Cairo, Algiers, Tunis, Constantinople, Damascus, Aden, Isfahan, Batavia, Goa, Quanzhou, Kolkata, and Cusco. This systematic organization by location contrasts markedly with Braun & Hogenberg's thematic, yet sometimes haphazard, assortment of views.
Further enriching the content, Jansson expanded the geographical scope beyond the original authors' purview. Notably, the volume incorporates views from regions underrepresented in Braun & Hogenberg's output: it includes three views from America, up from the single one in the original series, and even the first view of a Chinese city, Quanzhou. These new additions reveal Jansson's intent to capture a more global and inclusive perspective on urban landscapes.
In this volume, the dichotomy between the old and new is also evident in the plates themselves. Jansson seamlessly integrated new plates with those adapted from Civitates Orbis Terrarum, the resulting interplay creating a fascinating dialogue between past and contemporary cartographic representations.
In sum, Jansson's eighth volume, as an augmentation of Braun & Hogenberg's city views, offers a rare glimpse into an evolving understanding of the world. It testifies to the dynamic nature of cartographic knowledge in the 17th century, as new cities were incorporated into the global imagination and depicted on the pages of influential works like this one.
Jansson's Town Atlases of 1657
Johannes Janssonius's town atlases, published in 1657, marked a notable development in the field of atlas production by featuring 500 plates of cities and towns worldwide. This initiative surpassed that of his contemporaries, the Blaeus, as it far surpassed their eventual output. Janssonius' atlases can be seen as a continuation or evolution of Braun & Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum, the plates for which he acquired from Abraham Hogenberg in 1653 or earlier. Jansson modified many by removing costume figures and adding new cartouches. Additionally, he took plans of Italian towns from Caspar Barlaeus' work, and for Dutch cities, he ordered new plates, often closely resembling those by Blaeu, while occasionally adding views.
Janssonius not only copied or altered existing works, but also engraved new ones or sourced copperplates from elsewhere. He reused plates from German cities found in Martin Zeiler's Topographia Germania and integrated views into Arend van Slichtenhorst's Gelderse geschiedenissen. His name is rarely seen on these new plates, maintaining the anonymity of the creator. His atlases consist of eight parts with a total of 500 plates. Only one edition of the atlas exists, and it features an index at the end of each part, detailing the plates and their origins.
Jan Janssonius (also known as Johann or Jan Jansson or Janszoon) (1588-1664) was a renowned geographer and publisher of the seventeenth century, when the Dutch dominated map publishing in Europe. Born in Arnhem, Jan was first exposed to the trade via his father, who was also a bookseller and publisher. In 1612, Jan married the daughter of Jodocus Hondius, who was also a prominent mapmaker and seller. Jonssonius’ first maps date from 1616.
In the 1630s, Janssonius worked with his brother-in-law, Henricus Hondius. Their most successful venture was to reissue the Mercator-Hondius atlas. Jodocus Hondius had acquired the plates to the Mercator atlas, first published in 1595, and added 36 additional maps. After Hondius died in 1612, Henricus took over publication; Janssonius joined the venture in 1633. Eventually, the atlas was renamed the Atlas Novus and then the Atlas Major, by which time it had expanded to eleven volumes. Janssonius is also well known for his volume of English county maps, published in 1646.
Janssonius died in Amsterdam in 1664. His son-in-law, Johannes van Waesbergen, took over his business. Eventually, many of Janssonius’ plates were sold to Gerard Valck and Pieter Schenk, who added their names and continued to reissue the maps.