Bird’s-Eye View of Amsterdam, 1597


This bird’s-eye view of Amsterdam in 1597 is from the collection of cityscapes and broadsheets that once belonged to the Swedish statesman Count Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie (1622−86). In the upper right is a key, in Dutch, listing important landmarks in the city, including churches, city hall, and bridges. The map is by Pieter Bast (circa 1570−1605), a Dutch cartographer and engraver, who specialized in cityscapes. The Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie Collection consists of 187 engravings from the late 1500s and early 1600s. The prints originally were bound, ordered, and assigned a number. The early provenance of the collection is uncertain. After perusing the correspondence of King Gustav II Adolf and the Dutch philologist and diplomat Johannes Rutgersius, the former national librarian of Sweden E.W. Dahlgren conjectured that the pictures were ordered by the king and purchased by Rutgersius. The collection later was incorporated into the library of Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie, then deposited in the Archive of Antiquities at the end of the 17th century, only to be transferred to the Royal Library in 1780. An exhaustive catalog of the collection was published by Isak Collijn in 1915, Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie’s samling af äldre stadsvyer och historiska planscher i Kungl. Biblioteket. Dahlgren provides an account of the early provenance of the collection in his article, “Miscellanea” in Nordisk tidskrift för bok- och biblioteksväsen (1920).

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Amsterdam anno 1597

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 engraving ; 82 x 93 centimeters


  • Shelfmark: KoB DelaG 161

Last updated: February 3, 2015