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An Important Early View of Riga

Striking example of this spectacular panoramic view of Riga, based upon the work of Friedrich Bernhard Werner (1690-1776). This is the first of several of Werner's views of Riga, which would be issued with revisions for nearly 40 years.

Werner was born in Silesia, spent his early career working as a military engineer and cartographer, along with several other more colorful jobs in Prague. In 1718 he began creating remarkable views, which brought him into contact with several leading art dealers and map publishers in Augsburg, most importantly the heirs of Jeremias Wolff (1663-1724).

The firm would sponsor several European tours, allowing Werner to obtain new artwork for his remarkable views. His work was first published in series by several partners of the Wolff firm, primarily by Johann Friedrich Probst (1719 or 1721-1781), and later by his brother Georg Balthasar Probst (1732-1801).