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

The University of Oxford Botanic Garden (1727)



12 x 16 cm

An eighteenth-century view of one of Oxford’s dreamiest spaces: the Botanic Garden, engraved by Pieter van der Aa after David Loggan, the noted engraver, draughtsman, and painter. The University of Oxford Botanic Garden was founded in 1621 and is the oldest botanical garden in Great Britain. van der Aa’s engraving focuses on its architectural qualities, with four features of the garden highlighted for their beauty, symmetry, and prowess of design.

Of particular interest in this etching are the four trompe l’oeil pieces of gently curling paper which frame the gates of the garden. The Danby Gate (bottom left) at the front entrance to the garden is one of the three entrances designed by Nicholas Stone between 1632 and 1633. The gateway consists of three bays, each with a pediment; the niches contain statues of Charles I and Charles II in classical pose, and the niche in the the central pediment contains a bust of the Earl of Danby (hence the gate’s name).

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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