Description

This immensely detailed panorama and view from the Crace Collection was advertised for sale at one shilling in the London Gazette of 21-25 October 1675. It is Wenceslaus Hollar’s last representation of London. 

The map shows the whole of the built-up area and thus is a miniature version, stripped of the arms and decoration, of his large map (which would also have included a panorama). Large parts are miniscule bird’s-eye depictions of individual buildings. If, as seems likely, these represent the areas that Hollar had actually surveyed, then only the main part of Southwark, all of the poor districts east of the Tower, and the Clerkenwell and Smithfield areas to the north of the City, which are sketched out in plan, remained to be surveyed. The plan is quite up-to-date, including the Monument and St James’s Square, while a space marks the site of St Paul’s Cathedral. John Ogilby’s great ground plan, with which Hollar was involved in a decorative capacity and which was in the course of creation when Hollar was at work on this map, covered only the City. Hollar might therefore have hoped that there would still be demand for his large map which covered the whole of the built-up area. This plan would have served to remind the outside world that his project had not been abandoned. There is no evidence, however, that any of Hollar’s surveys were in the end utilised by John Ogilby’s successor William Morgan for his great map of London, Westminster and Southwark published in 1682.

The detailed and extensive panorama is slightly different from any of Hollar’s earlier ones, notably his great panorama of 1647, and seems to be related to the painted panorama he created for the surveyor and mathematician Sir Jonas Moore in 1672.  Like the earlier ones, it confuses the Globe Theatre and the bear-baiting pit on Bankside.

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