The Sheldonian Theatre was designed by renowned British architect Christopher Wren (1632-1723) and completed in 1668. The 800- to 1,000-seat theatre was intended as a venue for principal meetings and public ceremonies at Oxford, and still serves those purposes today, as well as being a concert venue. It is the earliest surviving structure of its class. In 1994, the European Commission recognized the Sheldonian as “one of the architectural jewels 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.
Caption from North Prospect of the Theater, dedicating the print to the Gilbert Sheldon: “Reverendissimo in Christo Patri & Domino Dno. GILBERTO Providentià ARCHIEP: CANT: totius Angliae Primati & Metropolitano REGIAE Majest: a Sactioribus Consilijs THEATRI OXONIENSIS in bonarum Literarum Usum et Ornamentum ingenti Sumptu conditi Fundatori longe munificentissimo hanc ejusdem Imaginem sicut è Boreali parte spectator quo par est cultu & obsequio offert dedicatq.”
The cartouche from North Prospect of the Theater is essentially a translation of the Latin dedication of the caption (see above) and a lettered key: “The north Prospect of the THEATER of the University of OXFORD lately built & Endowed by the most reverend Father in God GILBERT lord Archbishop of CANTERBURY his Grace for the Publick ACTS, the concernes of Printing & other uses of the Said University. A. Part of the Publick Scholes. B. part of the publick library. C the Convocation house. D the Arundel-Marbles & other Greck & Latine inscriptions.”
Caption from South Prospect of the Theater, dedicating the print to Gilbert Sheldon: “Reverendissimo in Christo Patri & Domino Dno. GILBERTO Divina Providentia ARCHIEP: CANT: totius Angliae Primati & Metropolitano REGIAE Majest à Sactioribus Consilus Universitatis OXON Cancellario & THEATRI. ibidem Funddatori longè munificentisimo hanc ejusdem Imaginem sicut è parte Meridionali spectator quo par est cultu & obsequio offert dedicatq.” [To the most reverend Father in God Gilbert Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Anglican of the Highest Rank…Oxford University Chancellor and donor of that Theater in that very place, is this observation of the southern part…dedicated.]
Condition: Generally very good with the usual light toning, wear, soiling, soft creases. Vertical center fold, as issued, with some wear.
“David Loggan.” The Grove Dictionary of Art. New York: Macmillan. 2000. Artnet.com. http://www.artnet.com/library/05/0515/T051566.asp (20 October 2004).
“Gilbert Sheldon.” The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica on WordiQ.com.http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Gilbert_Sheldon (20 October 2004).
“Sheldonian Theatre.” British History Online. 2013. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=121681 (19 December 2013).
“Sheldonian Theatre: University of Oxford.” Sheldonian Theatre. 1999. http://www.sheldon.ox.ac.uk/ (20 October 2004).