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Hollar's Bird's-eye View of London

Wenceslaus Hollar. Bird’s-eye plan of the west central district of London. London, ca. 1660

This stunning piece of artistic cartography is known in only two copies: the one shown here, and another in the British Museum. It depicts London’s newly-developed West End, with details of every street and building. Hollar envisioned a total of twenty-four sheets at this scale, forming a bird’s-eye view of London measuring five feet high by ten feet wide. He spent years surveying and sketching the city only to have the Great Fire of 1666 render most of his preparatory work obsolete. The great map was never made.

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