The Great Fire of London
Finely colored view of London in flames from south of the Thames, published in Frankfurt.
The map includes a 20-point key, noting important locations on the map. The fire began on Sunday, 2 September 1666 in a baker’s shop on Pudding Lane. After four days, it had destroyed over 13,000 homes, the Royal Exchange, Guildhall and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
It is interesting that the Globe Theatre is shown safe in Southwark, despite having been closed by the Puritans in 1642 and pulled down about three years later, two decades before the Great Fire of London.
Mathaus Merian (1593-1650) was the father of engraver Matthäus the Younger, and of the painter, engraver, and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian. He was born in Basel, Switzerland and trained in engraving in Zurich. After a time in Nancy, Paris and Strasbourg, he settled in Frankfurt. While there, he worked for Johann Theodor de Bry, the publisher and son of the travel writer. In 1617, he married Maria Magdalena de Bry, Johann Theodor’s daughter. In 1623, Merian took over the de Bry publishing house upon the death of his father-in-law. Merian’s best known works are detailed town views which, due to their accuracy and artistry, form a valuable record of European urban life in the first half of the sixteenth century