Cairus, Quae Olim Babylon Aegypt Maxima Urbs / Le Grand Caire

Francois de Belleforest (*1530 - 1583)
Antique woodcut town view of Cairo. Printed in Paris by Nicolas Chesneau, Michel Sonnius in 1575.

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Reference 11678

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Description

A large and rare woodcut view of Cairo with the Nile river, the Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza. Based on a engraving from Braun and Hogenberg's Civitates orbis terrarum.

This woodcut was published in La Cosmographie Universelle de tout le monde, printed 1575 in two volumes in Paris by Nicolas Chesneau and Michel Sonnius with the French text by Francois de Belleforest. It is a French version of Sebastian Münster's Cosmographia Universalis. Most of the woodcut maps and drawings of Münster's work were discarded and new woodblocks have been made. The geographical information is mainly based on Abraham Ortelius and Braun & Hogenberg, but also comes from unknown sources. All maps and views of the Paris edition by Belleforest are very rare since there was one edition in one language only. The woodcuts of the Basel edition by Seb. Münster were used in 46 different editions.

Details

CartographerFrancois de Belleforest
TitleCairus, Quae Olim Babylon Aegypt Maxima Urbs / Le Grand Caire
Publisher, YearNicolas Chesneau, Michel Sonnius, Paris, 1575
Plate Size33.5 x 49.0 cm (13.2 x 19.3 inches)
Sheet Size39.5 x 58.0 cm (15.6 x 22.8 inches)

Condition

Previously folded since the sheet is much larger than the book it was published. Lower right margin repaired, not affecting the image. A very good copy.

Cartographer

François de Belleforest was a French writer, translator and poet during the Renaissance. In 1568 he became historian of King Henry III, but had to give up soon because of inaccuracies. He worked as a writer and translator and transferred the Cosmography of Sebastian Munster into French. La Cosmographie universelle de tout le monde was published 1575 in Paris and was created in collaboration with the two Parisian publishers Nicolas Chesneau and Michel Sonnius. He has not used Sebastian Munster as sole source, several maps and views are based on Ortelius and Braun / Hogenberg, but also own work and unknown sources are found in the important work.

The picture shows the bust of Belleforest in Samatan (Gers, France). Source: Wikipedia, BastienM.

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Francois de Belleforest: Cairus, Quae Olim Babylon Aegypt Maxima Urbs / Le Grand Caire.
Antique woodcut town view of Cairo. Printed in Paris by Nicolas Chesneau, Michel Sonnius in 1575.

Egypt - de Belleforest, Francois - Cairus, Quae Olim Babylon Aegypt Maxima...

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