The whale and the warships
By HOLLAR, W[enceslaus] , 1665

[Etching of ships at sea]

Maritime & Military
  • Author: HOLLAR, W[enceslaus]
  • Publication place: [London]
  • Publisher: Peter Stent
  • Publication date: 1665.
  • Physical description: Two etchings, trimmed to platemark.
  • Dimensions: 155 by 283mm. (6 by 11.25 inches). [and] 122 by 269mm.
  • Inventory reference: 18262


In 1665 Wenceslaus Hollar published two prints showing dramatic maritime scenes. In both, warships are shown on the surging waves, with small figures fighting to control their vessels. A whale also features in the prints, surfacing the water; it is therefore possible that the scenes are designed to show a whaling expedition. The imprint on one acknowledges that it was published by Peter Stent, one of the most successful London printmakers of the mid-seventeenth century, whose business was later taken over by John Overton.


  1. Met 62.635.397
  2. NHG Hollar 234 II, 1841 I
  3. Pennington 1275, 1282.

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