Milan – Milano

by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg

Magnifica Milano


Date of first edition:  1572 (first state has no privilege)

(second state, also of 1572, mentions in bottom right corner: “Cum Privilegio”)

Date of this map: also 1572, but second state with privilege

Dimensions (not including margins): 33,5 x 48,5 cm

Dimensions (including margins): 40,3 x 53 cm

Condition: Very good. Strong paper.  Wide margins. Centre fold as published.  Nice original colouring.

Condition rating: A+

Verso: text in Latin

Map references: Van der Krogt 4,2758; Fauser, #8883; Goss 34, Taschen, Br. Hog., p. 104

From: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Vol. I; Van der Krogt 41:0, page 42


Item number:
Italy & Malta
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Price (without VAT): 1 950,00 (FYI +/- $2 301,00 / £1 735,50)
We charge the following expedition costs in euro: 
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– Rest of Europe: 30 euro
– Rest of the World: 50 euro

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Milan commented by Braun

“Milan can be numbered amongst the largest cities in Europe. Running through its suburbs are canals, along which all the necessities of life can be brought into the city by boat. So many different artisans live here that it is said that there are enough to rebuild Italy, but first you would have to destroy Milan in order to persuade its craftsmen and artists to migrate across the rest of Italy. The city has many magnificent houses, each more beautiful than the next, including its main church, with which few order churches in the whole world bear comparison in terms of size and marble décor.”

CARTOUCHE LEFT: Commentary on the city’s coat of arms top right by the humanist and emblematician Andrea Alciato.

TRANSLATION CARTOUCHE RIGHT: Mediolanum, capital of the Insubrians, commonly known as Milan, an extremely powerful and dignified city, which due to its favourable location was generally the seat of the Roman emperors, who embellished it with superb buildings. The region around Milan has a temperate climate, the soils are fertile and everything is present in abundance. […] The fecund fields and the proximity to the Alps meant that many people flocked from the latter to Milan. Due to a large influx at the time of Emperor Gratian, Milan grew bigger. For over 500 years the Insubrians were namely troubled neither by external enemies nor by internal fighting. This good fortune lasted until the time of St Ambrose, when the Arian heresy inflicted great harm upon the city. Then Attila, who had invaded Italy, destroyed Milan. For a long time after its reconstruction, it had peace. Then it was visited by the Lombards. After their subjugation by Charlemagne, it flourished for 360 years. But then Frederick Barbarossa razed Milan to the ground. With the help of Parma and Piacenza, its inhabitants rebuilt their city with such zeal, such ardour, that it arose even more prosperous, powerful and populated than before […].

Taschen on Milan

The plan view conveys an impressive picture of the city’s distinctively regular layout. The medieval fortifications were replaced in the 16th/17th centuries by the bastion-like city wall, particularly easy to recognize in this bird’s-eye perspective. It starts from the Castello Sforzesco (top centre), the former fortified palace of the Sforza Dukes of Milan. In the very centre of the city lies the cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente, commenced in the 14th century and consecrated in 1572. The Gothic city core is located around the cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente, commenced in the 14th century and consecrated in 1572. The Gothic city core is located around the cathedral square. Also, visible in this engraving are Milan’s oldest churches, all founded in the 4th century: San Lorenzo Maggiore (centre left), Sant’Ambrogio (top left) and Sant’Eustorgio. Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Last Supper (1495/97) is housed in Santa Maria delle Grazie (left of the Castello). When Francesco Sforza died without heirs in 1535, Milan passed to Emperor Charles V, who in 1555 bequeathed it in turn to his son Philip II of Spain. Milan remained in Spanish possession until the 18th century. The city is today the financial, fashion and media capital of Italy with 1.3 million inhabitants.

Castello Sforseco

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