Panorama of London from Southwark, 1600


This panoramic view of London from Southwark 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-left corner is the coat of arms of England; in the upper right is the coat of arms of the city of London. The inset in the lower-left corner shows a view of Westminster; that in the lower-right corner a smaller plan of central London. In the middle of the panorama is a cartouche with a text, in English, explaining that this “description of the moste famous city London” was made by John Norden in the year 1600, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Below the panorama, on five separate sheets, is a representation of the lord mayor’s cortège. This engraving is the only known complete copy of this view of London. 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 Jan 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).

Last updated: February 3, 2015