Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Bowles Amsterdam

Thomas Bowles after T. Smit.

A View of part of Amsterdam from the Harbour, showing the Herring Packers Tower, the Sluice of Harlem & the New Fishmarket.

16.5 x 11 inches

A copper plate etching, in original hand colour, engraved by Thomas Bowles after the drawing by T. Smit and published in London by Wilkinson in the 1790s.

This print is noteworthy for the clarity of its engraving and the fascinating perspective it shows on C18th Amsterdam. There is a fabulous level of commercial activity shown here as dozens of fishing boats jostle for a place alongside the harbour, emphasising the importance of the city as a centre for the buying and selling of fish. Great fortunes would have been made in the process resulting in the impressive merchants' houses that can be seen here flanking the canals.

It is typical of the topographical engravings that were sold throughout Europe in the latter half of the eighteenth century and would have been sold to tourists anxious to return home with a memento of their travels. Many cities vied with one another to become the print making capital of Europe and, due to a period of unprecedented economic growth, political stability and proliferation of publishers and print makers, London became a major production and distribution centre for these prints in the 1780s and 90s.


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