- Museum number
View of Wageningen, seen from the South-West; view from the grassy left bank of the Lower Rhine, looking upstream, with a barge and other small vessels on it, on the far bank at left, the town with churches prominent among its buildings, a line of trees and hills in the distance at right.
Pen and black ink, and watercolour, over graphite
- Production date
Height: 110 millimetres
Width: 276 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This drawing was made by Hollar in 1634, on a tour of the Netherlands and northern Germany that may have been encouraged by Matthaeus Merian and/or Abraham Hogenberg. Its design later served as the basis for an etching (Pennington 898; New Hollstein 2500), probably made during Hollar's second period in England, which appeared in series of views of Germany and the Low Countries.
Lit.: A. Griffiths and G. Kesnerová, 'Wenceslaus Hollar: Prints and Drawings from the collections of the National Gallery, Prague, and the British Museum', London, 1983, no. 27; S. Turner, 'Hollar in Holland: Drawings from the artist's visit to the Dutch Republic in 1634', in Master Drawings 48 (2010), pp.78-79, fig. 9
K Sloan, Noble Art 2000
Hollar's mother was a member of the minor nobility of Rudolph's Bohemian court at Prague and his father was knighted for his service as registrar of the law court. He was raised to follow his father's profession and his social rank and nationality were of importance to him throughout his life. Aubrey, with whom he and the others discussed in this section shared a similar rank and ambition, wrote that as a schoolboy, Hollar 'tooke a delight in draweing of mapps; which draughts he kept, and they were pretty...so that what he did for his delight and recreation only when a boy, proved to be his livelyhood when a man'(Godfrey, p. 2). His father opposed his artistic inclinations and continued to train him for court, but in a few months in 1619-20, the new King and Queen of Bohemia, to whom Hollar seems to have had some loyalty (his juvenile etched portrait of Prince Rupert's father, Frederick V is in the Fitzwilliam), had lost their throne and the position of protestant families like Hollar's at the Bohemian court became increasingly difficult.
The abolishment of the ancient Bohemian constitution in 1627 seems to have precipitated Hollar's decision to abandon his father's wishes and leave the country to follow his own ambitions as an artist. He studied briefly in Stuttgart before seriously commencing training as a draughtsman and engraver in Strasbourg then Frankfurt and Cologne. On excursions up the Rhine as far as Holland in 1634/5, when he made the present drawing, he perfected his topographical skills and in 1636, he was invited to join the entourage of the Earl of Arundel's embassy to Emperor Ferdinand II in Vienna. Travelling through war-torn Europe, Hollar made over 100 drawings for Arundel which illustrate most clearly his working procedure. He drew quickly on the spot with leadpoint or quill pen and slight ink washes, often making several views from one point, creating more finished works later, carefully composed with the addition of a repoussoir, the lines clearly defined and with the addition of coloured washes. In their delicate accuracy they show no hint of the ravages that must have been apparent around them. Although officially Hollar only ever had one known pupil, through the later engravings he produced from these drawings, he provided a template for centuries of amateur and professional artists' views of Europe.
Literature: F. Sprinzels, Hollar and his Drawings, Vienna, 1938, pp. 49-51, no. 156.; Richard Pennington, A descriptive catalogue of the Etched Work of Wenceslaus Hollar, Cambridge, 1982, no. 898; Godfrey, passim
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1983 Jun-Aug, Prague, National Gallery, 'Wenceslaus Hollar', no. 14
1983, BM, 'Wencelaus Hollar', no. 27
2000 May-Sep, BM P&D, 'A Noble Art', no. 10
2019-2020 22 Nov-23 Feb, Prague, Narodni Galerie, Wenceslaus Hollar
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number