A panorama of Prague

By HOLLAR, Wenceslaus, 1649 
£4,000

Praga

Europe Balkans
  • Author: HOLLAR, Wenceslaus
  • Publication place: Antwerp
  • Publication date: 1649.
  • Physical description: Etched panorama on three sheets, joined.
  • Dimensions: 322 by 1145mm. (12.75 by 45 inches). Plate size: 277 by 1123mm
  • Inventory reference: 18273

Notes

In the mid-seventeenth century Wenceslaus Hollar executed an impressive view of his birthplace, the city of Prague. The print was published the year after the end of the Thirty Years’ War, which saw a number of battles and skirmishes occur in and around the city, culminating in the Battle of Prague in 1648. The population of the city shrunk to one third of its pre-war numbers, but it steadily grew again in the latter half of the seventeenth century.

At the centre of Hollar’s view the Charles Bridge is shown, the medieval stone arch bridge that remained the only means of crossing the River Vltava until 1841, representing a key connection for trade between Western and Eastern Europe. With the view looking south, Prague Castle is on the near-side of the river, the medieval castle complex covering a large area. Other key features include the Strelecky ostrov island in the middle of the Vltava, the Vysehrad fort in the west, the Emauzsky and Strahov monasteries, and numerous churches. 20 such sites are identified in Czech, Latin and German in a key along the lower-edge of the image. In the sky above the urban vista are six coats-of-arms representing the city’s central districts. 

Bibliography

  1. NHG Hollar 1037 I
  2. Pennington 880.
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