Views of Florence

City maps

Maps record not only the topography of cities, they always present a “view” of the city as well, which is additionally determined by aesthetic and graphical decisions made by the cartographer. Thus Stefano Bonsignori’s copper engraving from 1584 (shown here in a reproduction) uses an axonometric perspective to solve the problem of providing both accurate views of all buildings and the exact route of the roads and position of the plazas. To this day, Bonsignori’s work ranks among the outstanding documents of historical topography. On the other hand, Vermondo Rossi’s map, which first appeared in 1765 in a city guide for Florence, shows view of only the most significant buildings. The 19th century maps completely dispense with a detailed representation of individual monuments. Instead, they include the outline of the important buildings for precise orientation. The beginnings of new growth in the city are clearly visible on these maps. For example, Orazio Batelli’s map shows the Piazza Maria Antonia (today: dell'Indipendenza), which was inaugurated in 1847. The city map from 1872 finally reflects the urban development by Giuseppe Poggi, triggered by Florence’s selection as the temporary capital city of the unified Italy (1865-71): The city walls have been replaced by the ring road; on the other side, the new residential districts are already visible, although they are still under construction.

Stefano Bonsignori: Map of Florence, 1584 (reproduction from the late 19th/early 20th century), 78.7 x 73.5 cm

Vermondo Rossi (engraver): Map of Florence, after 1765, copper engraving, 17.2 x 14.9 cm

Map of Florence, first half of the 19th century, copper engraving, 16.0 x 17.9 cm

Map of Florence, 1831, copper engraving, 35.2 x 38.8 cm

Luigi Balatri (engraver): Map of Florence, circa 1840, copper engraving, 17.0 x 19.3 cm

Orazio Batelli: Map of Florence, before 1859, steel engraving, 63.1 x 89.6 cm

Map of Florence, 1872, steel engraving, 69.5 x 89.5 cm

Giuseppe Canacci (engraver): Map of the area around Florence, first half oh the 19th century, lithograph, 55.5 x 77 cm

© KHI in Florence | 28.09.2020 23:44:55