This collection of essays offers critical perspectives on the creation and reception of prints and drawings by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-77), and seeks to contribute to a new appreciation of an undervalued and excitingly interdisciplinary artist.
“(…) it is, at last, a place to delve more deeply into at least some aspects of his artistry through favored subjects.” (Larry Silver, in Historians of Netherlandish Art Reviews, June 2018)
Andrea Bubenik, Ph.D., is Lecturer in Art History at the University of Queensland in Australia. Her areas of research and publication include the prints and paintings of Albrecht Dürer, the art of central Europe especially the court of Rudolf II in Prague, and links between art and science in the early modern period. Dr. Bubenik’s monograph entitled 'Reframing Albrecht Dürer: The Appropriation of Art, 1528-1700' was published with Ashgate Press in 2013.
Anne Thackray, Ph.D., obtained her doctorate in seventeenth-century European art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London University. In 2010, she curated the Hollar exhibition at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto: 'Caterpillars and Cathedrals: The Art of Wenceslaus Hollar', and wrote the accompanying catalogue of the same name. A former research scholar in European art at the National Gallery of Canada, Dr. Thackray has worked in the curatorial departments of the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, London, and taught art history at the Open University and the University of Edinburgh.
Wenceslaus Hollar (1607 Prague – 1677 London) was one of the most important artists of the 17th century. His international career, affluent patrons, and insatiable curiosity enabled him to create a diverse range of prints and drawings, remarkable for their varied subject matter and exceptional technical qualities. Hollar’s oeuvre includes cities and fortifications, portraits, religious subjects, politics, mythology, architecture, heraldry and numismatics, antiquarian relics, costume, maps, sports, classical literature, landscape views, ‘Old Master’ drawings and paintings, and natural history. His work invokes his close observation of, and engagement with, the natural world, as much as the society of his times.
Unfortunately, Hollar has received less attention than many of his contemporaries. He has all too often been undervalued as being primarily a ‘reproductive printmaker’ – one who reproduces in print the designs of others, or simply copies paintings into print. This volume seeks to revise how Hollar has formerly been characterized, through an exploration of hitherto unexamined drawings, as well as the more innovative qualities of his printmaking. It includes new research on Hollar’s biography and his patrons, fresh perspectives on Hollar’s portraits and urban scenes, and insights into Hollar’s forays into the natural world.
Partly the outcome of a 2010 symposium held at the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library at the University of Toronto (repository of third largest collection of Hollar prints), this book comprises contributions from nine international print scholars, from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, England, and The Netherlands. Their work on Hollar reaffirms his importance not only to the history of printmaking, but also to the art, science and culture of his times.
Alena Volrábová, Remarks on the Early Years of Wenceslaus Hollar in Germany
Robert J.D. Harding, ”Ex Collectione Arundeliana”: Wenceslaus Hollar and the Earl of Arundel’s design to make a large volume of prints of all his pictures drawings & other rarities
Andrea Bubenik, Wenceslaus Hollar and the (Re)Production of Albrecht Dürer
Anne Thackray, Wenceslaus Hollar’s Praemonstratensian Prints
David Flintham, “Useful for all Commanders”: Wenceslaus Hollar’s Views of Castles, Fortifications and Sieges
Simon Turner, Hovering like a hawk over the rooftops: Hollar’s Sketches and Drawings of London
Simon Turner, Wenceslaus Hollar and Tangier in 1669
Nathan Flis, From Hollar in Antwerp to Barlow in London: Birds & Other Creatures from the Life.