Fine large birdseye view of Jerusalem, published in London by Wenceslaus Hollar.
One of the most impressive engraved views of Jerusalem. The representation of the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem is based on the engravings in H. Prado and J.B. Villalpando's De postrema Ezechielis prophetae visione . . . , published in Rome in 1604.
The view shows the city within its embattled walls among, surrounded by hills on the horizon. The upper left inset includes a plan of ancient Jerusalem, title "Hierosolymae veteris imago vera".
The upper right corner contains an index listing the main buildings of the city. Inside the city's walls, Solomon's Temple (i.e., the First Temple) and the Palace of King David are figured prominently on the Temple Mount.
Hollar engraved six views of the Temple of Jerusalem, four appearing in his Biblia Sacra Polyglotta (London, 1655-57). The source of the other two appear, including this view, is uncertain. In his Descriptive Catalogue of the Etched Work of Wenceslaus Hollar (Cambridge, 1982), Richard Pennington states the view was originally included in John Field's "Restoration Bible" printed in Cambridge in 1660. It does not however, appear in the Cambridge copy of this publication.
Václav (Wenceslaus) Hollar (1607-1677) was a Bohemian etcher, whose works are a rich source of information about the 17th century. He went to Frankfurt in 1627 to study under the engraver and publisher Matthäus Merian, and later moved to Strasbourg, and then to Cologne in 1633. There Hollar attracted the attention of the collector Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, with whom he was associated for most of his life.
In a career of some 50 years, he produced almost 3,000 etchings on a variety of subjects, with the direct, realist style that makes them such valuable historical documents. The British Museum, the print room at Windsor Castle and the National Gallery in Prague all hold near complete collections of Hollar's work.