Get your ship together
By HOLLAR, Wenceslaus , 1647

Navium variae figurae et formae a Wenceslao Hollar: in diuersis locis ad uiuum de linealae & aquaforti aeri insculptae

Maritime & Military
  • Author: HOLLAR, Wenceslaus
  • Publication date: 1647.
  • Physical description: Twelve etchings of ships and maritime scenes, trimmed to platemark.
  • Dimensions: 145 by 232mm. (5.75 by 9.25 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 18304


In 1647, following his return to the continent, Wenceslaus Hollar made a visit to the Netherlands, where he drew the Dutch VOC ships. These were later published as a series of etchings entitled ‘Navium variae figurae et formae’. The twelve plates show a range of large vessels, some at sea and some docked in harbour, some with sails unfurled and others still seemingly in the process of being built. The intricacy of both the decorative and technical details serve as a reminder of the Dutch naval supremacy at this time.

Furthermore, most of the ships are examples of the Dutch fluyt (“vlieten”), which was designed in the sixteenth century as a cargo vessel. Its efficiency, with capacity for twice the cargo of a typical ship and requiring only a small crew, was a great contribution to the rise of the Dutch seaborne empire during the seventeenth century. The series also features boeiers (“boyers”), a ship of. about 16 to 25m in length idea for the shallow waters around the Netherlands, and warships (“naves bellicae”) with cannons lined along their sides.


  1. NHG Hollar 956 V, 957-967 II
  2. Pennington 1261-72.

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