By HOLLAR, Wenceslaus , 1660


  • Author: HOLLAR, Wenceslaus
  • Publication place: ?[Cambridge
  • Publisher: Field
  • Publication date: 1660].
  • Physical description: Engraved view with one inset plan, on four sheets.
  • Dimensions: 440 by 2030mm. (17.25 by 80 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 18374


An exceptionally fine impression of Hollar’s panorama of Jerusalem.

Wenceslaus Hollar contributed engraved plates to numerous Bibles, showing religious and ancient artefacts, scenes, views, plans and maps. Many of these were drawn after Juan Batista Villalpando whose seminal work on the Holy Land at the beginning of the seventeenth century influenced generations of scholars, architects and artists. Although Villalpando was accused of heresy for misinterpreting scripture, eventually being found innocent by the Spanish Inquisition, his Biblical cartography and imagery had a great impact on the architecture and construction of later monasteries, churches and even wider urban spaces.

The main image on the present print is a magnificent view of Jerusalem, encompassing the great city walls, the countless small and large buildings within it, and the surrounding hills. The river valley in the foreground is cultivated with trees and fields, while within the walls the city appears to be constructed according to a grid-like system, dominated by the Temple atop Mount Moriah at the centre of the view. Hollar included a numerical key in the upper right-hand corner of his plan to identify Jerusalem’s various structures, spaces and sites, which are further examined in an aerial inset plan in the opposite corner.

Oriented to the west, the inset plan show the entirety of the city as well as those parts of the surrounding area that contained sites and buildings of religious or historic importance. In fact, the number of sites shown outside of the city walls exceeds that within, since only the most important monuments, structures and places inside Jerusalem are shown, unobscured by the mass of nameless buildings that appeared on many contemporary views. Among the sites that do appear are the palace of Herod, the Hippdrome and, of course, the Temple of Solomon, which naturally bears a close resemblance to the more detailed illustrations found in Villalpando’s ‘in Ezechielem Explanationes’, which Hollar also replicated.

The relief and layout of the surrounding area are represented pictorially, as are its important locations, such as the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane and the Camp of Pompey, which was set up during the seige of 63 BC. The Kidron Brook runs north to south along the eastern walls of the city, and further to the east, beyond the Mount of Olives, the neighbouring town of Bethany is represented as a modest collection of buildings.


  1. NHG Hollar 1732 I
  2. Pennington 1130.

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