Pieter van der Aa (1659-1733), after David Loggan (1634–1692)

The University Church of St Mary the Virgin, University of Oxford (1727)



12 x 16 cm

An eighteenth-century view of the University Church, engraved by Pieter van der Aa after David Loggan, the noted engraver, draughtsman, and painter. St Mary’s was the first building of the University of Oxford and its parish consists almost exclusively of university and college buildings. Its eccentric Baroque porch, designed by Nicholas Stone, faces the High Street, and it boasts a spire which is claimed by some church historians to be one of the most beautiful in England. Radcliffe Square lies to the north and to the east is Catte Street. The 13th-century tower is open to the public and provides magnificent views across the heart of the historic university city, especially Radcliffe Square, the Radcliffe Camera, Brasenose College, and All Souls College.

Of particular interest here is the trompe l’oeil piece of gently torn paper which frames the view of the church.

Pieter van der Aa of Leiden was a Dutch publisher best known for preparing maps and atlases, though he also printed editions of foreign bestsellers and illustrated volumes. He is noted for the many engravings he produced after David Loggan’s series of Oxford and Cambridge colleges and costumes. In 1727 Van Der Aa illustrated “Les Delices de la Grande Bretagne & de L’Irelande” by James Beeverell, the book in which this engraving appears.

Condition: a good impression.

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