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Wenceslaus Hollar, Bohemian Etcher

Wenceslaus (or Vaclav) Hollar was born in Prague in 1607, at that time the capital of Bohemia. Hollar began sketching miniatures and maps in his youth. He learned the skills of copper engraving and the technique of etching with subtle gradations of tone and texture.

In 1627 he left Prague and spent several years traveling around what is now Germany and Holland and Belgium. By 1636 he was in Cologne when Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, was passing through the city en-route to the Holy Roman Emperor in Vienna on a diplomatic mission. He invited Hollar to join his party to record the journey in pictures. The group traveled up the Rhine, through war-torn areas of Germany, back through the Lowlands and on to London.

Howard lived at Arundel House on the Strand between London and Westminster and close to the royal palace at Whitehall. Arundel was one of the great connoisseurs and collectors of his time, a patron of Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony Van Dyke, both of whom he had attracted to London.

Hollar soon began to make drawings of his adopted homeland Hollar worked on drawings for a catalog that Arundel intended to publish. There was a growing number of merchants, gentry, and aristocrats with an interest in purchasing books published by various printers based around or close to St.Paul’s Cathedral.

The Earl of Arundel sent much of his collection to Antwerp while he went into exile in Italy, leaving his London home to be trashed by Parliamentary troops. He died in Padua in 1644. Hollar moved with his family across the North Sea to Antwerp.

By 1652 the Civil War in England was over and many royalists returned from exile. Soon, Hollar came back to his adopted homeland where he remained for the rest of his life.
Two eyes and two heads
402 Media in collectionpage 1 of 5

Two deformed heads

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Schenkenschanz

View of Schenkenschanz from the river Rhine, with boat in foreground at right and others in middle ground and background. One of a set of 12 views in Germany, formerly in an album, now disbound. According to Ve... more

Bonn

View from the river Rhine, with Bonn on the left bank, where buildings include a windmill;. One of a set of 12 views in Germany, formerly in an album, now disbound. According to Vertue, these prints based on dr... more

Two Grotesque Heads

A monk with a jutting jaw and missing teeth and a woman with a grotesque faceand youthful body face each other. Anonymous, Netherlandish, 17th century

Four small boys and a goat (copy)

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Old St. Paul's Cathedral, London, seen from the East

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Six Boys

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Baths of Diocletian, Rome

Baths of Diocletian in Rome, seen from outside, partly overgrown with vegetation; after Sebastian Vrancx Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Four boys, a young satyr, and a goat (copy in reverse)

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Elephant and Camel

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Self-Portrait

Portrait of Wenceslaus Hollar, half-length almost facing front, wearing doublet buttoned down the front and open over left shoulder; holding copper-plate of his St Catherine, standing next to table covered with... more

London from Arundel House, copy

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Ruins of St Croix de Jerusalem

Ruins of St Croix de Jerusalem, two arches intact in background at right; seated man sketching at far left; after Sebastian Vrancx Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Five boys, two satyrs, and a goat (copy)

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Four boys, two satyrs, and a goat

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Three Cherubs and Two Boys on Clouds

Three winged cherubs and two boys seated in a row on clouds. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

View of Vienna

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Four cherubs carrying a cross

Four cherubs carrying a cross Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Four small boys and a goat

A naked child rides a rearing goat while another child lies on the ground and holds a rope tied around the goat's neck. Two other children hang onto the goat's hindquarters. after Peeter van Avont. Wenceslaus H... more

Forty-one Insects, including moths and butterflies

Forty-one Insects, including moths and butterflies.This unsigned and rare plate was recognized by Penningtonand accepted by subsequent cataloguers. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Jesus, St. John the Baptist and four cherubs

The Infants Jesus, St. John the Baptist and four cherubs Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Mary Villiers, Dutchess of Lennox and Richmond

Portrait of Mary Villiers, Duchess of Lennox and Richmond, half-length against a landscape in the background, turned to the left, but looking towards the viewer, wearing a dress and scarf, pearl necklace, and e... more

Jug with arabesques on the base

Jug facing left with arabesques on the base, after Holbein Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Albury

Albury; man and woman with children seen from behind walking along country lane at right, followed by woman with small child; river at left, with spire of church seen among trees in the background Wenceslaus Ho... more

Infant Hercules asleep

Infant Hercules asleep; lying naked on a cloak, head to right, among leafy branches under tree, his club between his legs; two birds perched above his head, after Parmigianino Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Pragu... more

Jesus on the Mount of Olives

Plate 1. Jesus kneels in prayer in the upper right of the print. Judas holds a purse but tries to conceal it from from the monk and the pilgrim standing at the gate at bottom left. After a follower of Hans Hol... more

A view of Lambeth Palace from the river at Whitehall Stairs

London Thames view, looking upriver towards Lambeth Palace (the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury) from Whitehall Stairs. Lambeth is seen in distance at left, on the south bank of the river. In t... more

Strasbourg: The Toll House

Distant view of a Toll House on the bank of the river Ill near Strasbourg, obscured by trees at right, with rowing boat approaching. One of a set of 12 views in Germany, formerly in an album, now disbound. Acco... more

Two deformed heads facing each other

Two deformed figures face each other, after Leonardo. The attribution to Hollar is doubted by Pennington and tentatively attributed in the New Hollstein. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Tower of London

View of the Tower of London from the river Thames, with Traitor's Gate in front; at wharf, two ships, pinnace-rigged, with sails reefed, one flying St George's cross at the mast-head and barrels of culverin ran... more

Head of a muscular old man in profile to left with flowing hair

Head of a muscular old man in profile to left with flowing hair, after Leonardo da Vinci Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Nine Small Boys

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Antwerp

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Jesus confronting his detractors

Plate 2. Jesus and Peter, with a sword over his shoulder, walk right towards a crowd of monks and a cardinal carrying crosses, pilgrim staffs and a lit candle . After a follower of Hans Holbein Wenceslaus Holla... more

Carrying the cross

Plate 12. Christ bears his cross while beaten by monks with pilgrims' staves; a winding road leads up a hill beside a castle at left; after a follower of Hans Holbein Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1... more

Head of a man with protruding chin and snub nose looking upwards in profile to left

Head of a man with protruding chin and snub nose looking upwards in profile to left, after Leonardo da Vinci Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Dead deer, hares and game

One dead deer, two dead hares and five dead game birds Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

The church by the water

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Two deformed heads facing inwards

Two deformed heads both with enormous upper lips. The woman has a cap on the back of her head and the man's hair is blowing back. After Leonardo. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Head of an old man with a pronounced chin, short cropped hair and gaping mouth showing teeth in profile to left

Head of an old man with a pronounced chin, short cropped hair and gaping mouth showing teeth in profile to left, after Leonardo da Vinci Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Three cherubs and two boys on clouds

Three cherubs and two boys seated on clouds Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Four grotesque heads in profile to left

Four grotesque heads of elderly men in profile to left, arranged in two rows, the one at lower right wearing a a three-tiered cap; after Leonardo da Vinci. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Head of Young Man

Head of a youth with curly hair falling over the nape of his neck, in profile to left; after Leonardo da Vinci; second state, right side of cut plate Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Hawks and owls

In a room a large owl sits on wooden partition at right holding a dead weasel in its right claw. On the left is a little owl with a cord around its leg; above it 3 hawks sit on perches, one is hooded. after B... more

Bust of a deformed man with a hat and a fat, protruding lower lip in profile to left

Bust of a deformed man with a hat and a fat, protruding lower lip in profile to left, after Leonardo da Vinci Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Albury with tree-stump in foreground

Albury; stump of old tree in the foreground at left, with wooden fence behind and swans swimming in the lake beyond; vineyards, arched building and seven persons walking by the water in the background Wenceslau... more

The River God and the Boys

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

The mocking of Christ

Christ is seated at left wearing a crown of thorns. Monks threaten him with objects used to force the crown deeper and a Capuchin kneels before him and holds out a huge glass of beer. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemi... more

Boar and Mastiff

A large thistle in the centre, with a boar at left and a mastiff at right, in an arrangement of other fruit, flowers, and insects; after Hollar. After Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

A variety of heads

Various male heads in profile, a young man with wavy shoulder-length hair at right facing left, looking down, and grotesque head with goat horns and beard at centre; after Leonardo da Vinci Wenceslaus Hollar (B... more

Five Heads

Two old men face left and a deformed man with bulbous chin and lips faces right; smaller outlined profiles of two men with protruding jaws face each other in the upper left. after Leonardo da Vinci Wenceslaus H... more

Jesus before Annas

Jesus is dragged from the left towards a Cardinal enthroned in a niche at the upper right. A small dog is seated at bottom center. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

View of Lambeth from Whitehall Stairs, copy

View of Lambeth from Whitehall Stairs; Lambeth Palace in distance on the left; in right foreground a range of gabled buildings, one projecting farther towards the river, a two-storied wing built over foreshore ... more

Infant Hercules asleep

Infant Hercules asleep; lying naked on a cloak, head to right, among leafy branches under tree, his club between his legs; two birds perched above his head, after Parmigianino Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Pragu... more

Eleven Boys and Three Goats

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Sleeping Huntress

Landscape with Diana sleeping at the foot of a tree, a quiver in lower right; after Peeter van Avont Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

A Griffin

A griffin, surrounded by numerous plants, flowers, and insects, and a pineapple; after Hollar. Invented by Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Bust of a young woman with elaborate headdress, looking down.

Head and shoulders of a young woman, directed to front, with head tilted to right, looking down; wearing a rope of pearls, jewel on a band, and ribbon in her hair, and loose gown tied over her left shoulder. Af... more

Tootehill fields (Amoenissimi aliquot locorum... Prospectus)

View across fields looking towards Westminster Abbey, at mid-distance a summer house enclosed by bushes, Westminster Hall and part of the parliament buildings on the right, and farther to right the church of "S... more

A dead stag, anonymous copy

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Naues Mercatoriæ Hollan [] dicæ per Indias Occidentales (Dutch West Indiaman)

Dutch West Indiaman; workman climbing to the main shrouds in hull of ship to left; dinghy with three men approaching the ship in the foreground; two ships being fitted out in the background to right, with wharf... more

The scourging

Christ is tied to a pillar and scourged by two monks while two cardinals look onfrom the right. Instruments used for the torment lie in the foreground. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

The washing of hands

Plate 11. The washing of hands; Christ is led towards the right by hooded men carrying staffs terminating in knife-clenching fists. One of them is preparing to beat him with a burning candle; Pilate sits on hi... more

Lower portion of a scabbard

Lower portion of a scabbard, after Hans Holbein Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Title to the Entry into Hemissem

Title-page to a series of four prints commemorating the visit paid by the Imperial Postmaster-General, the count de la Tour et Tassis, and his wife to Alexander Roelants, the Imperial Postmaster for the Netherl... more

Resurrection

Plate 16. The resurrected Christ stands on clouds while monks and nuns feast at his tomb, after a follower of Hans Holbein Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Whole-length lady, after Anthony van Dyck

Full length figure truned slightly to left, head slightly to right. She has straight fringe and a flower in her hair on left and another on the top at at back. She wears a pearl necklace and pearl earrings. Wen... more

Antwerp Cathedral (Prospectvs Tvrris Ecclesiæ Cathedralis)

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Three cherubs and two boys on clouds, each raising one arm

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Fireworks at Hemissem

Fireworks at Hemissem; nocturnal scene, with fireworks; pole supporting round platform with burning barrels and blazing rockets at left; soldiers and drummers in the foreground at right; castle illuminated in t... more

Quivers and hunting horns

Three quivers and a tasseled hunting horn Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Two deformed heads facing each other

On the left an old woman with an enormous chin and a ram's horn tied to a string around her forehead faces am old man with a bulbous head and sagging cheeks.After Leonardo Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 16... more

Philipp Herbert, Earl of Pembroke

Portrait bust to right, looking to front, with shoulder-length wavy hair; wearing a wide collar trimmed with scalloped lace and order suspended from a ribbon around his neck; in an oval; after Anthony van Dyck.... more

The daughters of Aglaura (Mercury and Herse)

Mercury and Herse; the seven daughters of Aglaura holding baskets of flowers walk along a country path to the right towards a temple, Mercury flying above, within an oval. Related to a painting by Paul Bril and... more

Three profile heads, one in outline only

Three heads in profile to left; at left, outline of the head of a youth; in middle, head of an old man; at right, head of a youth, with curly hair falling over the nape of his neck; after Leonardo da Vinci Wenc... more

Concert of cherubs on Earth

Seven cherubs are seated on clouds playing harp, horn, triangle, flute, trumpet and guitar. One is singing from a book. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Jesus before Caiaphas

Monks drag Jesus to the left where Caiaphus stands wearing a bishop's mitre and raising a holy-water sprinkler as if to fling it at Christ. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Head studies

Seven head studies of men of different ages, after Leonardo da Vinci Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Temple courtyard with figures, after David Teniers the Elder (?)

Temple colonnade and courtyard, with walking, seated and conversing figures, some looking down a well at left. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Jug with lid, engraved with arabesque pattern, the narrow spout to right ending in snake's head, handle to left.

Jug with lid, engraved with arabesque pattern, the narrow spout to right ending in snake's head, handle to left; after Hans Holbe Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

The Kunibert Tower near Cologne (copy)

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Two cherubs dancing with a small boy, not by Hollar

Two cherubs dancing with a small boy Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Eleven Hounds

Eleven hounds, one of them lying in foreground at left, others lying, sitting and standing. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Head of an old man wearing cap in profile to left

Head of an old man wearing cap in profile to left, after Leonardo da Vinci Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Two youths in profile to left with two grotesque heads facing each other below

Two heads of young men, the one at left in profile to left, the other in three-quarter profile to left; bolow, two grotesque heads of old men with long pointed noses, facing each other; after Leonardo da Vinci.... more

Albury

Albury; group of men, women and children advancing towards the foreground along path among trees; wooden fence at left, clumps of trees on fields in the background. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Democritus and Heraclitus

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Grotesque old man with flattened nose in profile to left

Grotesque old man with flattened nose in profile to left, after Leonardo da Vinci Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Seated figure of Diana the huntress

Diana seated naked under a tree, holding a spear, looking towards three dogs, standing and sitting beside her at right; two hunting horns hanging from a branch above; fields in background. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bo... more

Rex et Regina de Tunis

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Ansbach and Coburg, View (a) of two views (a&b).

View of Ansbach with its surroundings and some figures; a coat of arms in the upper centre; after Peter Isselburg after Hans Bien and Wolffgang Birckne Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Two heads

Left: An old woman with a receding chin; Right: a clean shaven man with bowl cut hair or a hat. Not by Hollar. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Realm of Venus, after Adam Elsheimer

Venus seated naked in a landscape in foreground at right, looking towards the viewer, Cupid carrying a basket of flowers on his head at centre, nymphs and fauns seen in a dark wooded area in background at left,... more

The Temptation

Jesus sits beneath a tree at the right and points to his lips while Satan points to the ground. Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Head of a young man, turned slightly to right

Head of a young man, turned slightly to right;shoulder length hair with forehead fringe; moustache Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

Daggars and scabbards

Ornamental designs for daggars and scabbards,after drawings by Hans Holbein the younger, now lost Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

October

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

May

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)

September

Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London)