Wenzel Hollar (1606-1677), Air, 1647, etching, after Petrus van Avont, from the Four Elements. [signed and dated W. Hollar 1647 lower right and inscribed P. van Avont inu lower left in the plate] Reference: Pennington 522, third state (of 3). In good condition (a thin spot upper left verso), on laid paper, trimmed outside of the borderline all around, 5 1/2 x 8 1/8 inches.
Provenance: the London firm of Craddock and Barnard, still in their mat, with the Barnard annotations.
A fine strong impression of this whimsical representation of the element Air.
Hollar (1607-1677) had learned etching as a gentlemanly pursuit before, as a Protestant, having to leave Catholic Prague when he was 20. For nine years he worked in various German towns, mostly producing topographical prints and drawings. In 1636 while in Cologne he joined the entourage of the Earl of Arundel, with whom he returned to England. After the Earl’s death in 1646 Hollar went to Antwerp, where he made the etchings after Avont’s Four Elements.