Part of Tangier from Above from the cycle Various Views of Tangier

Wenceslaus Hollar - engraver

Wenceslaus Hollar - engraver - Part of Tangier from Above from the cycle Various Views of Tangier
The town of Tangier, a part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza, is situated on the north-western extremity of Africa’s coast. Its history can be traced back to the second millennium B.C. Initially, it was a Phoenician trading post, later on a Carthaginian settlement, eventually it passed into Roman hands and finally it came under Arab control. In 1471, Tangier became a Portuguese dominion. Between 1661 and 1684, however, the port was a British colony, and the colonists engaged in grand strategic and commercial plans, coupled by hopes for new scientific discoveries in Africa. With enthusiasm, Hollar delved into portraying the unsightly seaport of Tangier, an endeavour that resulted in views that were far ahead of their time in terms of their character and artistic quality. During his nearly half-year sojourn in this African town, Hollar drew a number of views. After his return to England, the artist made etchings from some of the drawings which John Overton published in a series of views of Tangier. Hollar’s series of views of Tangier is among the most impressive works within his oeuvre. Hollar animated the foreground of his scenes with groups of idyllic strollers, who in reality could hardly have moved in such a carefree manner through the area.
date:
measurements: height 117 mm
width 216 mm
material: paper
technique: etching, second state
inscription:
inventory number: R 51199
gallery collection: Collection of Prints and Drawings
licence: Creative Commons License public domain