Wenceslaus Hollar, 'Of the Frogs Desiring a King'

Wenceslaus Hollar, 'Of the Frogs Desiring a King'

Wenceslaus Hollar
'Of the Frogs Desiring a King'
1665
Etching from 'The fables of Aesop paraphras'd in verse' by John Ogilby
Printed by Thomas Roycroft for John Ogilby in London
National Art Library Pressmark: CLE.W.10

Although his reputation lies mainly in his topographical and architectural etchings, Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) is considered the first artist working in England to view book illustration as an independent art form, and this effect can be seen in his Aesop illustrations, which show a fresh approach to interpreting the story. Publisher John Ogilby (1600-1676) employed Hollar to provide new illustrations for his second edition of The Fables of Aesop , published in 1665. 

Václav (Wenceslaus or Wenzel) Hollar was an etcher-engraver from Prague who worked for booksellers in London from 1652. Along with Francis Barlow, he was one of the pre-eminent etchers working in Britain in the 17th century. An enormous number of Hollar's plates - around 2700 - survive.