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

Wenceslaus Hollar Bohemian

Not on view

This detailed, evocative drawing of an important British architectural monument, now gone, relates to a major commission that the artist worked on between 1656 and 1658. The antiquarian William Dugdale (1605–1686) had asked Hollar to create a set of fourteen prints documenting the interior and exterior of Old St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. These were to illustrate Dugdale’s ground breaking publication "The History of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London from its Foundation until these Times" (1658). The exacting nature of the commission meant that Hollar executed this drawing in careful stages, first scoring the perspective underpinnings of the architecture, then using pen and ink to describe the structure. Finally, he indicated shadows with brown and gray washes. While the Museum does not possess Dugdale’s History of St. Paul’s, the related etching does appears, together with others from the set, in Dugdale’s "Monasticon Anglicanum," volume III (1674) (44.41.3).

Old St. Paul's Cathedral, London, seen from the East, Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, Prague 1607–1677 London), Pen and brown ink and brown and gray wash over black chalk, squared in black chalk, and incised

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