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Book Description
Etching with hand colour 234 x 312 mm A scarce, detailed aerial city plan of Oxford with a prospect of Oxford from the east in the upper left corner, and numbered legend of landmarks in the lower left and centre. This map is after Wenceslaus Hollar's 1643 plan that was issued to mark the arrival of the Royal Court in Oxford during the English Civil War. As a direct copy of the Hollar map this impressionistic, rather than scientifically accurate, plan depicts the city at the halfway stage in the great period of development between the late 16th and mid 18th century. It is believed that this plan was published in Matthaus Merian's Theatrum Europaeum begun in 1633 and completed in 1738. Matthäus Merian the Elder (22 September 1593 - 19 June 1650) was a Swiss engraver born in Basel. Beginning his career in Zürich where he learned the art of copperplate engraving, Merian went on to study and work in various cities throughout France. In 1615, Merian returned to Basel. His return to Basel, however, was short lived, moving to Frankfurt the following year to work for the publisher Johann Theodor de Bry. Merian later married de Bry's daughter. He was also the father of Maria Sibylla Merian, one of the greatest natural history artists of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) left his native Prague in 1627. He spent several years travelling and working in Germany before his patron, the Earl of Arundel brought him to London in 1636. During the civil wars, Hollar fought on the Royalist side, after which he spent the years 1644-52 in Antwerp. Hollar's views of London form an important record of the city before the Great Fire of 1666. He was prolific and engraved a wide range of subjects, producing nearly 2,800 prints, numerous watercolours and many drawings.
Author Merian, Matthaus after Hollar, Wenceslaus
Date 1650
Condition Vertical centre fold as issued.

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