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The Road from Prague

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The Road from Prague

Hollar's Early Years

Hollar was born in Prague in 1607. At the age of twenty he left Bohemia. After travels in Germany, he journeyed to England in 1636 as the protegé of the Earl of Arundel who engaged Hollar to etch copies of artworks in his collection. It was Arundel's desire, apparently, to create a visual inventory of his collection, a "paper museum" of etchings that would be an enduring record. Although Arundel's plan was never completed, there are numerous etchings by Hollar that are our only remaining record of works of art in the collection. 

Hollar's fascination with texture and skill at reproducing it in the etched medium are among his most notable characteristics. His interest in costume began in Germany and continued in England. The Ornatus Muliebris Anglicanus, or The Severall Habits of English Women and the Seasons , published in the 1640's, demonstrate Hollar's talents as a miniaturist. His ability to capture the play of light on shimmering gowns and the exquisite detail of lace and furs is evident in this three-quarter length figure of Spring.



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Wenceslaus Hollar. Spring from The Four Seasons. London, 1641

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