Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Vue d'Optique: Monument

Prospectus Monumenti Erecti In Memoriam Funesti Incendiianno MDCLXVI.

16 x 11.5 inches

A copper plate engraving of The Monument in the City of London, published in Rome circa 1750.

The Monument was erected near to the place where the Great Fire of London began in 1666; an event that had devastating consequences for the city but eventually provided the catalyst for the rebuilding and renaissance of modern London. The design of the column was given to Sir Christopher Wren and the responsibility for its construction and maintenance was handed over to the Corporation of London. Built of Portland stone, the column was erected between 1671 and 1677 and upon completion stood at an impressive 202 feet high; the tallest isolated stone column in the world. At its summit there was a magnificent flaming urn composed of gilded bronze to signify the fire. Inside there was a spiral staircase of 311 steps taking the visitor up to a small balcony beneath the flame. In 1788 a baker jumped to his death from the top of the Monument, the frst of six suicides that eventually lead to a cage being constructed over the balcony in 1842. This print is fascinating not only for the detailed depiction of the Monument itself but for all the commercial activity taking place in the streets below.


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