c1564 View of Cordoba Coloured Print by Georgius Hoefnagel


A rare and highly collectable hand coloured double-page folio view of Cordoba, Spain, by Georgius Hoefnagel, from around 1564.

A very good print taken from the book CIVITATES ORBIS TERRARUM, it is hand-coloured, with some light toning and wrinkling to margin and central fold. The print has been beautifully mounted, framed in black wood and glazed. The back is also glazed so as to show the printed description of the city in old French. The front picture shows a slightly elevated view from the southeast of the city before the backdrop of the Sierra de Cordoba. In the foreground is the 14th-century Torre de la Calahorra, behind which is the Roman bridge that crosses the Quadalquivir river and leads to the cathedral. It was Built in the 8th century as a mosque and enlarged in the 9th/10th centuries. It was converted into a Christian church after the Spanish recaptured the city. On the left is the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, begun under Alfonso XI in 1328, the residence of the Spanish kings. The Inquisition had its seat here. Long before that, it was the capital of the wealthy Roman province of Baetica. It was conquered by the Moors in AD 711 and was the residence of the Umayyad Caliphate becoming one of the biggest cities in the world, at that time. In 1236 Cordoba became Christian again in the course of the Reconquest of Spain.

Georgius, Joris or Georg Hoefnagel (1542– 1601) was a Flemish painter, printmaker, miniaturist, draftsman and merchant. He is noted for his illustrations of natural history subjects, topographical views, illuminations and mythological works. He was one of the last manuscript illuminators and made a major contribution to the development of topographical drawing. He moved to Spain, where he resided from 1563 to 1567 and was active on behalf of the family business. He made various sketches of places in Spain and was particularly fascinated with Seville, the primary colonial trading port of Spain, where he could see many exotic animals and plants. The ‘Civitates Orbis Terrarum’ was, with its six volumes, the most extensive atlas of its time. Hoefnagel worked intermittently on the Civitates his whole life.

Size image: 52 x 35 cm (20 ½ x 13 ¾ inches)
Size frame: 63.5 x 46.5 x 1.5 cm (25 x 18 ¼ x 5/8 inches)
Weight: 2780 g