Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account
This item has been sold, but you can enter your email address to be notified if another example becomes available.

"The most important... and the most accurate of the pre-Fire panoramas" - Darlington & Howgego

Wenceslaus Hollar's "Long View" of London is generally considered the greatest bird's-eye view of London ever made.

This is the 1832 lithographed facsimile of Hollar's original, issued in London by Robert Martin.

The view shows London from a point above Southwark (the tower of St. Saviour Church, now Southwark Cathedral) looking north over the City of London and London Bridge towards Hampstead Heath and Highgate ("Heygat").

In the foreground are the densely packed buildings of South Bank. The Globe Theatre appears on the left of the foreground, though Hollar, like Visscher, mistook the bear-baiting arena for the Globe and vice-versa. In reality, the latter is the building labeled "Beere batting h." and the former is the building with the flagpole labeled "The Globe". The Globe had actually been demolished three years before the view was made, but Hollar had left London in 1644, fearing for his position as the English Civil War raged.

Across the River Thames, we see the pre-Fire City of London in remarkable detail with individual buildings rendered in accurate detail and the famous churches of the area labeled and illustrated. Hints of the bucolic landscapes north of the City reinforce a sense of London's limited 17th-century extent. The Tower of London can be seen at the right of the image. On the left, receding into the distance is the still-nascent community of Westminster, with its now-famous Whitehall and Scotland Yard.

Hollar flourished when rendering London street scenes and landscapes and his passion and skill are on full display in this, his London magnum opus.

The original Hollar is known in three examples: University of Chicago, British Library, and a private collection.

Condition Description
Four sheets joined as one. Mounted on linen with green selvage. Cleaned of varnish. Some small areas of creasing and restoration inside the image . But generally VG or a bit better.
Pennington (1982), 1014 copy.
Cornelis II Danckerts Biography

The Danckerts were a family of Dutch engravers and geographers who produced geographic materials, including a series of original atlases. Initially, Justus I Danckerts (1635-1701) was a book and print publisher based in Amsterdam. His great-uncle, Cornelis Danckerts de Rij, (1561-1634) was a surveyor who produced a Kaert-boeck showing various views of Amsterdam. His brother, Dancker Danckerts (1634-1666), was a skilled engraver who produced several maps. Justus I was most likely influenced by both their work when he followed his father, Cornelis I Danckerts (1603-1656), into the publishing business.

In the early 1680s, Justus decided to embark upon a new project, an atlas with all the maps made in house. Such a project was feasible because two of his sons with his wife, Elisabeth Vorsterman, Theodorus I (ca. 1663-ca. 1720) and Cornelis II (1664-1717) had recently come of age and were trained in engraving and etching. Justus’ decision was most likely influenced by his surroundings; Amsterdam was the center of map publishing in the seventeenth century and in the 1680s several local publishers sought to join the atlas market then dominated by the Blaeu and the Hondius-Janssonius atlases.

Together, the brothers created their first maps in the mid-1680s. In 1684, the family received a 15-year privilege to protect their maps and they were then publishing both folios sized maps, the basis of an atlas, and wall maps for sale. Their first atlases contained around 20 original maps and 4-5 maps by other cartographers like Visscher and De Wit. The first known atlas to contain only Danckert maps was a 26-sheet volume published in 1690. As a guide, the Danckerts turned to similar atlases by De Wit, but by 1690 they clearly had the knowledge and capacity to produce their own original work.

After the first 26-sheet atlas, the Danckerts released a 37-sheet (1692-4), a 50-sheet (1694-6), and a 60-sheet (1698-1700) atlas. Several of the maps added to the atlases in the 1690s reflect the theater of the Great Alliance War (1688-1697). Other political events also influenced the contents of the atlases. For example, the English and Irish sheet maps were altered in 1688-9 and 1689-91 respectively, just after the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

In 1692, Justus II (?-1692), a third son of Justus I, died. A series of maps bearing a distinct style which abruptly stopped at this time have been attributed to him. A family member assumed to be another son of Justus I, Eduard (?-after 1721) came of age around the same time. Analysis of engraving style suggests that Eduard was heavily involved in the engraving process, working alongside Theodorus I and with another relation, also presumed to be a younger son of Justus I, Johannes (?-1712), thereafter.

Justus I drew up his will in 1696 and most likely retired from daily management of the shop at this time, although he lived until 1701. The aforementioned Johannes, who had a distinct engraving style, began contributing to the map engraving in 1700, although most of the maps he worked on are published under the name of another brother. The privilege had expired in 1699 and its renewal in the same year, before the death of Justus I, could explain why his sons continued to publish in his name after his death. Using the well-known name of Justus could protect the younger sons whose own reputation was not yet established.  

In the new century, many of the maps were reworked or completely redone, as was the case with the world map and those of the continents. New maps were added to reflect the new areas of fighting in the War of the Spanish Succession, including new depictions of Italian states, the southern Netherlands, and the German provinces. In 1706, Albert Schut joined the business as an engraver and etcher and his name appears on maps from then onward. Between 1700 and 1712, the number of atlas maps increased to 75 and then 100 sheets. It seems Cornelis II was the main voice in atlas contents during this time, while Theodorus I’s role is unclear.

Johannes died in 1712, radically changing the business’ daily routine. Johannes had not only been an engraver, but also the firm’s representation to the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest book fair in Europe at that time. As the German market was the main source of income for the Danckerts, his death was a heavy blow.

Over the next two decades, the pace of new map production slowed drastically. Only two known maps made during this period are known today: a third world map, engraved by Jacob Folkema, and a Hispania map published with Cornelis II’s name. Neither of these featured in the atlases. After 1717, when his father Cornelis II died, a few maps were reworked by Theodorus II and the contents of the atlases were altered slightly to include those printed from unfinished plates.

By 1726, Theodorus II was in debt. He gave much of his stock to a creditor, T. Rijswick, just before he died in 1727. The stock was sold at auction by Rijswick and other publishers, including the Ottens and Van Keulen, bought plates from the atlas.

Lack of biographical data is a problem for all the Danckerts, especially the younger brothers. Justus I was born in Amsterdam, where he also began his business. All the sons were born and presumably died there. Justus II’s death date is all that has survived of him in the records, and all that is known of Eduard is that in 1721 he served as uncle and guardian to Theodorus II (ca. 1701-1727), the son of Cornelis II. After that nothing is known of him. Theodorus I most likely died between 1718 and 1721. He had a son, Gerit (ca. 1708-after 1731), but the lad does seem to have become a map engraver. With the death of Theodorus II, therefore, there were no more Danckerts to carry on the business even if Theodorus II had avoided debt.

Although not as long-lived as some of the other family firms, for the decades surrounding the turn of the seventeenth-century the Danckert family produced well-respected and widely distributed wall maps and atlases. They joined the atlas trade at a time when atlases were increasing in popularity and the expansion in the number of sheets included in their atlases indicate both their popularity and the skill of the engraving brothers.

Wenceslaus Hollar Biography

Wenceslaus Hollar, born on July 23, 1607, in Prague, was a prolific and accomplished Bohemian graphic artist of the 17th century.

Known to German speakers as Wenzel Hollar and to Czech speakers as Václav Hollar, he is celebrated for his masterful engravings and etchings. The turmoil of the Thirty Years' War, particularly the Sack of Prague, devastated Hollar's family, leading him to abandon his initial path towards a legal career and instead pursue the arts. His earliest surviving works date back to 1625 and 1626, showcasing the influence of Albrecht Dürer. In 1627, Hollar apprenticed under the esteemed engraver Matthäus Merian in Frankfurt, marking the beginning of his illustrious career.

During the early 1630s, Hollar resided in Strasbourg, Mainz, and Koblenz, capturing the essence of the Middle Rhine Valley through his depictions of towns, castles, and landscapes. In 1633, he moved to Cologne, where his talent began to attract significant attention. It was here, in 1636, that he caught the eye of Thomas Howard, the 21st Earl of Arundel, a renowned nobleman and art collector. Hollar joined Arundel on diplomatic missions to Vienna and Prague, and in 1637, he accompanied the Earl to England.

Upon settling in England, Hollar became part of Arundel's household, though he did not work exclusively for the Earl. He continued to create independently and for various authors and publishers. Following Arundel's death in 1646, Hollar commemorated him with a print designed by Cornelius Schut. Hollar's remarkable "View of Greenwich," published by Peter Stent, exemplified his early work in England and set a precedent for his meticulous and expansive cityscapes. 

The English Civil War significantly impacted Hollar's career, although he remained productive. He withstood the siege of Basing House alongside royalist artists like Inigo Jones and William Faithorne. Despite the adversity, Hollar's output was prolific during this period, with numerous plates dated 1643 and 1644. Following his capture and subsequent escape during the siege of Basing House in 1645, Hollar relocated to Antwerp, where he reconnected with Arundel and produced some of his most acclaimed works, including cityscapes, seascapes, and intricate studies of nature.

In 1652, Hollar returned to London, continuing his work with notable publishers and illustrating various significant texts, including Ogilby's Virgil and Homer, Stapylton's Juvenal, and Dugdale's Warwickshire, St Paul's, and Monasticon.

Following the Great Fire of London in 1666, Hollar produced his famous "Views of London," capturing the city's devastation and subsequent rebuilding. In 1668, King Charles II commissioned him to document Tangier's town and forts. His return voyage included a notable naval engagement, which Hollar later etched for Ogilby's Africa. Hollar continued to produce well-regarded works until his death on March 25, 1677, in London, where he was buried at St Margaret's Church, Westminster.  

Hollar's legacy endures through an extensive body of work, including some 400 drawings and 3000 etchings. His plates, numbering around 2740, encompass a vast array of subjects, from topographical views and portraits to intricate depictions of nature and architecture.

Collections of Hollar's work are held in prestigious institutions such as the British Museum, Windsor Castle, the National Gallery in Prague, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. His contributions to graphic art are celebrated in catalogues by George Vertue, Gustav Parthey, and Richard Pennington, with a comprehensive catalogue published in the New Hollstein German series. Hollar's work remains accessible through digital collections, notably at the University of Toronto and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

The Wenceslaus Hollar Secondary School of Art in Prague honors his name, ensuring that his artistic legacy continues to inspire future generations.