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Braun & Hogenberg: Sevilla [Hispalis]

Map: SP2019
Cartographer: Braun & Hogenberg
Title: Sevilla [Hispalis]
Date: 1598
Published: Cologne
Width: 16 inches / 41 cm
Height: 20 inches / 51 cm
Map ref: SP2019
This magnificent view of Seville possesses enormously dramatic figurative embellishments. In the foreground we see a cuckold and his wife being driven along a track, both riding donkeys. The husband has been shamed for his wife's adultery by bearing antlers decorated with bells, the symbol of cuckoldry. Meanwhile his wife is forced to ride with her hands tied in front of her, smeared in honey whilst a swarm of bees descend upon her. Around them, figures raise two fingers, representing antlers in a mocking gesture.

Elsewhere, there are signs of both moral and physical decay. A man is beating a donkey carrying a heavy load, and the ground around them is scattered with the skeletons of animals. Closer to the city, two bulls are being hunted and chased, both by dogs and men with raised spears.

This view embodies the highly decorative and detailed nature of Braun and Hogenberg's city views, and remains one of the most fascinating.

French text on verso (image available on request). Glorious original colour. [SP2019]