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Old color example of Braun & Hogenberg's views of Urbino and Sulmona.
This view of Urbino has been reduced to two views. The upper view is from the Southwest and shows the Palazzo Ducale built into the slope. Directly behind it appears the tower of the cathedral. In the foreground is the Porta Valbona, with the main axis of the city leading to the 14th-century church of San Francesco and, therefore, to the center of the Old Town. In the lower image, the view is from the northeast, with Porta Lavigne in the foreground.
Founded by the Romans, Urbino was a fief of the Counts of Montefeltro, who ruled Urbino from 1444 to 1482.
On the right is the city of Sulmona, surrounded by 14th-century fortifications, as viewed from the northwest. In the center of the town are the church and palace of Santissima Annunziata, above which is San Francesco della Scarpa with the Portale di San Francesco. Above these are the church of Santa Maria della Tomba, which was built on the site of the temple to Jupiter.
Sulmona was the birthplace of the Roman poet Ovid (b. 43 BC), whose work was revered by Renaissance humanists.
Georg Braun (1541-1622) was born and died in Cologne. His primary vocation was as Catholic cleric; he spent thirty-seven years as canon and dean at the church St. Maria ad Gradus, in Cologne. Braun was the chief editor of the Civitates orbis terrarum, the greatest book of town views ever published. His job entailed hiring artists, acquiring source material for the maps and views, and writing the text. In this role, he was assisted by Abraham Ortelius. Braun lived into his 80s, and he was the only member of the original team to witness the publication of the sixth volume in 1617.
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