Atlas of Prince Eugene

Atlas of Prince Eugene

Amsterdam (Netherlands) — 1662–1678

Switzerland in the 17th century: precise maps and detailed cityscapes owned by Prince Eugene of Savoy

  1. This coveted collection of cityscapes and maps is named after its later owner Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736)

  2. Individual regions of Switzerland are depicted in one of the most sought-after works of the 17th century

  3. The artistic adornment includes masterful details like waterfalls, rocky gorges, and dwellings

Atlas of Prince Eugene

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Atlas of Prince Eugene

The volume at hand of the 50-volume Atlas of Prince Eugene concerns Switzerland and assembles gorgeous views of city- and landscapes as well as interesting cartographical depictions that give a marvelous glimpse of 17th century Switzerland! Laurens van der Hem compiled his famous atlas in the years 1662–1678. He collected and integrated sheets from outstanding artists of his time as well as older works. Roelandt Savery, Willem Schellinks, Jan Haeckert, Adriaen Matham and Frederic de Moucheron, Wenzel Hollar, Matthäus Merian, and Jacob Hoefnagel are only a few names of the famous people whose engravings were incorporated into the work.

Atlas of Prince Eugene

This treasure of the Austrian National Library is named after Prince Eugene of Savoy. The Austrian noblemen and general acquired the famous Atlas Blaeu – van der Hem, which had been in the possession of the Amsterdam patrician Laurens van der Hem, in the 18th century, and has been known as the Atlas of Prince Eugene ever since. The 50-volume atlas was compiled between 1662 and 1678 as a comprehensive geographical overview and subsequently came to be considered as an important attraction for the city of Amsterdam. Matthäus Merian was involved as a copper engraver, his etchings were colored by the “master colorist” Dirk Jansz van Santen. The volume at hand concerning Switzerland assembles gorgeous views of city- and landscapes as well as interesting cartographical depictions that give a marvelous glimpse of 17th century Switzerland!

Switzerland in Impressive Engravings

An impressive waterfall cascades amidst a rocky gorge and a few small houses. Lake Lucerne stretches out in the middle of a terrifically green landscape, and the backdrop of the city of Basel rises up majestically before the blue firmament. The Swiss volume of the famous Atlas Blaeu – van der Hem collects simultaneously gorgeous and informative maps and views. Individual regions of Switzerland are portrayed, as well as cityscapes or views of famous tourist attractions and depictions of natural spectacles.

The Treasure of an Amsterdam Patrician

This 17th century geographic treasure is stored today among the rich collections of the Austrian National Library. It is a famous atlas – a 50-volume collected work of old city- and landscapes – that was in the possession of the Amsterdam patrician Laurens van der Hem (1621–1678). This Atlas Blaeu – van der Hem was considered to be one of the symbols of the city of Amsterdam. Countless visitors came to wonder at it, the Medici among them, who would have gladly bought the compendium. Nonetheless, it remained in Amsterdam. In 1736, the work was finally sold to the Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736) by the Van der Hem family. The compendium reached Vienna by courtesy of this famous patron of the arts and Hapsburg general in the Great Turkish War and the War of the Spanish Succession. The atlas, now named after Prince Eugene, was transferred by Emperor Charles VI to the court library, the modern Austrian National Library.

Matthäus Merian’s Image of Switzerland

Laurens van der Hem compiled his famous atlas in the years 1662–1678. He collected and integrated sheets from outstanding artists of his time as well as older works. Roelandt Savery, Willem Schellinks, Jan Haeckert, Adriaen Matham and Frederic de Moucheron, Wenzel Hollar, Matthäus Merian, and Jacob Hoefnagel are only a few names of the famous people whose engravings were incorporated into the work. The copperplates by Matthäus Merian the Younger (1621–1687) were of great significance for the Swiss volume. The marvelous views were colored by Dirck Jansz van Santen, who was already praised as a master colorist among his contemporaries. This volume concerning Switzerland comprises 35 views and eight maps with detailed geographic information. It gives, as such, a unique overview of 17th century Switzerland!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Atlas des Prinzen Eugen
Size / Format
50 volumes / 57.0 × 38.0 cm
Date
1662–1678
Language
Illustrations
35 views and 8 maps in original size of Atlas Blaeu - van der Hem from the Austrian National Library Vol. 1
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Laurens van der Hem
Prince Eugen of Savoye

Available facsimile editions:
Atlas of Prince Eugene – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 1979
Limited Edition: 1000 copies
Detail Picture

Atlas of Prince Eugene

Pleasure Boating on Lake Zurich

In the lower-right corner of this cityscape we see various boats filled with people enjoying a pleasant day on Lake Zurich. It is a wonderfully detailed woodcut showing a literal boatload of musicians wearing Spanish collars in the foreground, including a cellist, and the city of Zurich in the background with its mixture of red tile and blue slate roofs. The Renaissance city’s defenses are depicted in a very realistic manner including a water gate, curtain wall, and various towers.

Atlas des Prinzen Eugen
Single Page

Atlas of Prince Eugene

Cityscape of Geneva

The full Latin title translates to “The old and important city of Geneva naturally represented from the south with the surrounding landscape 1640” pretty much sums it up. It is a gorgeous panorama requiring a third page to fold out on the left. Sailing ships, medieval architecture, and the rolling landscape are depicted with great artistry and detail.

However, the tranquil appearance of the scene is quickly betrayed upon closer examination of the foreground – there is a battle at the city’s Renaissance fortifications. Phalanxes of pikemen, supported by arquebusiers, assault the city, which is defended by cannon fire. The flags of the assaulting troops, a white cross on a field of red, indicate that they are from the Duchy of Savoy, a bitter enemy of the Swiss at the time.

Atlas des Prinzen Eugen
Facsimile Editions

#1 Atlas des Prinzen Eugen

Atlas of Prince Eugene – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Atlas of Prince Eugene – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Limited Edition: 1000 copies
Binding: Leather, true copy of the original binding.
Commentary: 1 volume (68 pages) by R. Wagner
Language: German
1 volume: This facsimile is not complete. Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
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