1572 Braun & Hogenberg Antique Print View Lake Agnano Cave of Dogs Naples, Italy

Cartographer : Braun & Hogenberg

This beautifully hand coloured original antique print, a birds eye view of the Italian Volcanic Lake Agnano and the Grotta del cane or Fontana - Cave of the Dogs - located in Pozzuoli, north of Naples, Italy was published by Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg for the 1572 atlas of town plans Civiates Orbis Terrarum intended as a companion to Abraham Ortelius's master Atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum published in 1570.
The top view of Lake Agnano shows friends Abraham Ortelius & Georg Hoffnagel meeting at the Lake in a way to impress upon the reader the real importance of Nature. These are beautifully engraved with wonderful hand colouring on strong, sturdy paper.

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: - Early
Colors used: - Green, blue, red, yellow
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 20 3/4in x 16in (525mm x 405mm)
Plate size: - 18 1/2in x 13in (470mm x 330mm)
Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - Colour show-through

The Cave of Dogs is a small cave on the eastern side of the Phlegraean Fields near Pozzuoli, Naples. Inside the cave is a fumarole that releases carbon dioxide of volcanic origin. It was a famous if gruesome tourist attraction for travellers on the Grand Tour. The CO2 gas, being denser than air, tends to accumulate in the deeper parts of the cave. Local guides, for a fee, would suspend small animals inside it—usually dogs—until they became unconscious. Because humans inhaled air from a higher level they were not affected. The dogs might be revived by submerging them in the cold waters of the nearby Lake Agnano. Famous tourists who came to see this attraction included Goethe, Alexandre Dumas père, and Mark Twain. The lake became polluted and it was drained in 1870; the spectacle fell into desuetude and the cave was closed. However the area is now being restored by volunteers.

Lago di Agnano or Lake Agnano was a circular lake, some 6½ km in circumference, which occupied the crater of the extinct volcano of Agnano 8 km west of Naples, Italy. It was apparently not formed until the Middle Ages, as it is not mentioned by ancient writers; it was drained in 1870.
On the south bank are the Stufe di San Germano, natural sulphureous vapour baths, and close by is the Grotta del Cane. From the floor of this cave warm carbonic acid gas constantly rises to a height of 18 inches (46 cm): the fumes render a dog insensible in a few seconds. It is mentioned by Pliny the Elder. Remains of an extensive Roman building and some statues have been discovered close by.(Ref: Tooley; M&B)