Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wenceslaus Hollar: Etches of Roman Soldiers

While doing some research, I came across these amazing etches of Roman soldiers by Wenceslaus Hollar. Hollar was a bohemian artist that was born in Prague in 1607 and died in London in 1677. I found these to be quite remarkable and thought I would share.

Roman Soldiers

Seven Roman Standards

A Testudo

4 comments:

  1. Dang! I love it. Can I ask how you found this as I've never seen it!

    I remember a book on the Renaissance where the author described the inhabitants of Italy wondering about the greatness of Rome and how far they'd fallen. Roman history, authors, writing and Latin came back into vogue, and scholars combed the monasteries for Roman works to read and translate. If I remember this correctly, the author said much of what survived through today is attributable to that reclamation. When I think how much was saved, and how much we've lost, it is breath-taking!

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    1. Hi Monty, thanks for the great comment. And I agree, it really is amazing to look back and think of all that has been lost.

      I'm not sure exactly how I stumbled across these great works. I believe I started doing some research on Roman standards and reading some texts around that topic. That eventually lead me to looking at some original fresco work that we have from Rome, which lead to viewing some classical paintings of Romans which somehow lead to Wenceslaus Hollar. The University of Toronto has a huge collection of his work digitized if you are interested here:
      http://link.library.utoronto.ca/hollar/

      cheers,
      Jonathan

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    2. Oh, that looks good. I'll be digging in. While getting my son set up at IU, I saw a book on Rome. So much to read and learn on this topic!

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    3. Apologies Jonathan but I don't have an email for you. I want to say two things. #1, what you post here on your blog stays with me. All that hard work is to your credit. #2, on the subject of passing the torch on classics, I finished one of my favorite reads of the year. "Swerve: How the World Became Modern." It is the story of a classic called The Nature of Things and how it was written, debated during Roman times, eventually stored and rewritten over the years by monks, only to be revived and distributed in the 1400 century. The story of the monks is worth the price of the book alone, in my mind. Hope all is well!

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