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Architectural Study, England, Oxford, Bodleian Library, Oxonia Illustrata, English Antique Print Pair, 1675

$1,100

David Loggan (1634-1692) (artist and engraver)
Bibliothecae Bodleianae Oxoniae, Prospectus interior ab Oriente/ Prospectus interior ab Occidente — The Inside of the Public or Bodleian Library in Oxford from ye East/ from ye West
and Bibliotheca Publica Bodleiana & Scholae, sive Auditoria Artium Liberalium, ut ad Austrum Spectantur
[The Bodleian Library, Schools Quadrangle, and Auditorium of Liberal Arts, View to the South]

from Oxonia Illustrata
England: 1675
Copperplate engravings, uncolored
Interior: 12.75 x 18 inches, plate mark; 17 x 22.25 inches, overall
Exterior: 11.75 x 16 inches, plate mark; 17 x 21.5 inches, overall
$1,100, the pair

Pair of prints of the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, from David Loggan’s famous 17th century folio set of 40 Oxford views, Oxonia Illustrata, the earliest engravings of the university ever published. In one print, the top half shows the library from the east and the bottom from the west. A pair of globes flanks the hallway in the top view, and scholars and citizens sit at benches or walk besides the shelves filled with books. The other print depicts a bird’s-eye view of the exterior of the library including its courtyard, with tiny figures walking across it. In the upper right corner are the coats of arms of Oxford University and of Sir Thomas Bodley (1545-1613), for whom the library is named, and a lettered key. In the lower left foreground, a dedication in Latin is written on a large pediment topped by the British royal coat of arms and flanked by a pair of allegorical women holding scrolls, one a building plan and the other inscribed “Musa Vetat Mori,” part of a quote from Horace, “The Muse forbids the virtuous man to die.”

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Description

Sir Thomas Bodley was a Fellow of Merton College who carried out several diplomatic missions for Queen Elizabeth I and was married to a wealthy widow. After his retirement from public life, from 1598 until his death in 1613, he devoted himself to fundraising and planning the improvement and expansion of the library at Oxford. Construction began on what would become the Bodleian Library the day after his funeral and continued until at least 1624. To this day, it is the main research library of Oxford.

David Loggan was a British engraver, draughtsman and painter. Descended from an Anglo-Scottish family, he first studied in Danzig under Willem Hondius and then in Amsterdam, before arriving in London in the 1650s. He mainly produced engravings, though was also well known for his miniature portrait drawings in graphite on parchment. In 1662, he engraved the title page for the folio Book of Common Prayer. By 1669, he was living in Oxford, and was appointed “public sculptor” (in the sense of the Latin meaning of the word “sculptor,” i.e. “engraver”) to the university. He then proceeded to draw and engrave all the Oxford colleges in bird’s-eye views for his famous folio Oxonia Illustrata, published in 1675, the year that he was made a British citizen. He later published Cantabrigia Illustrata, a collection documenting Cambridge University, and held the position of engraver to the university.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual light toning, wear, soft creases. Vertical center fold, as issued, with some wear. Faint small brown spot on one print, unobtrusive.

References:

“David Loggan.” The Grove Dictionary of Art. New York: Macmillan, 2000.

The Bodleian Library Oxford. pp. 4-6. Online at: Bodleian Libraries. http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/docs/historybodleian.pdf (17 December 2013).

Additional information

Century

17th Century