Wenceslaus Hollar’s faith in maps as a medium to convey information is demonstrated in his selection of a map, whatever its geographical weaknesses, rather than a figurative print to express his anguish at the outbreak of the English Civil War while the Thirty Years War was still raging on the continent. Britain is shown filled with troops while on the continent he depicts the victory of the Catholic German Emperor, Ferdinand II, over the Bohemian Protestants at the Battle of the White Mountain outside Prague in November 1620.
Hollar, a Bohemian Protestant himself was in Prague, aged thirteen, at the time and the illustrative panels recount, from a Protestant perspective, the events that unleashed war in his native and his adopted countries. As Hollar comments (XY) ‘Warre’s sweet before ‘tis try’d’. The Latin inscription is taken from Virgil’s Eclogue 1.