Have you ever wondered about the image used in this blog's header? It's a portion of a large panel engraved in 1616 by Claes Jansz Visscher, a Dutch artist of the 17th century (when the Dyers lived). The amazing thing is that Visscher never visited England--so where did he get the descriptions of the River Thames and the hundreds of buildings in the engraving? How did he know where to plot St. Paul's, the Tower, the Globe Theater?
Mercurius Politicus, a blog about 17th century history, says that Visscher's panorama is derived from a 1593 map engraving by John Norden, a surveyor and engraver. https://mercuriuspoliticus.wordpress.com/2008/07/22/london-panorama/
|1593-John Norden's map of London. Click to enlarge. |
We can go even further back to an angel's-eye view of Tudor London, with the 1560 Ralph Agas map called Civitas Londinium. (Where did these people get the idea for such a high-altitude perspective?!)
|1560-Civitas Londinium, by Ralph Agas. Click to enlarge. |
A similar panorama of London was engraved in 1647 by Vaclav "Wenceslaus" Hollar, an etcher from Prague, Bohemia.
|1647-Long View of London, by Wenceslaus Hollar. (Wikipedia Commons)|
As part of the 1616-2016 commemoration of Shakespeare's death, London's Guildhall Gallery is exhibiting the modern version of Visscher's panorama. From the same birds-eye perspective Visscher used, modern artist Robin Reynolds has created a 2016 panorama of London. Since most of us are not able to attend the exhibit, the websites will have to do. To see the Visscher and Reynolds works compared side by side and with zoomed-in sections, check out this news item at the link.
|London panorama in 2016, by Robin Reynolds.|
Christy K Robinson is the author of five books: