This is a fine original color example of Braun & Hogenberg’s view of Rome, from an early edition of Braun & Hogenberg’s Civitatus Orbis Terrarum.

This striking work shows Rome as it was c. 1550. Included are various surviving features of ancient Rome: the surrounding walls, the Pantheon, the Coliseum, the Arch of Constantine, and the Forum Romanum. In the left corner in the foreground can be seen the Papal Palace and the Obelisk from the circus of Caligula and Nero.

It presents two figures in the foreground, and two extensive tables of explanations.

“The magnificent ancient ruins of the splendid buildings give a modest indication of the splendour the city formerly possessed. The Tiber flows into this city from the north and out again towards the south. But what more should I write about so famous a city, in which the successor to St Peter the Apostle and the supreme bishop of the Catholic Church has his seat, where the bones and relics of so many apostles and martyrs are to be seen?”