Somerset House, in its Original State

Cornelis Bol (c.1589 - after 1666)

Coloured engraving

published 11 October 1809
  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection

    The principal feature of this engraving, seen to the right of the composition, is the former building of Somerset House. To the left are the Savoy Chapel, the four towers of Old Northumberland House and Westminster Abbey, depicted before the addition of its 18th-century western towers.

    Lettering on the print states that it is based on an original painting by Cornelis Bol, now in Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, which represents Somerset House before ‘the alterations made by Inigo Jones, to fit it for the use of Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles 1st'.

  • About the artist
    Cornelis Bol was born in Antwerp. He was a pupil of painter Tobias Verhaecht. By 1611 he was in Haarlem, where he may have studied under marine artist Hendrick Vroom. In 1615 Bol was a master at the Guild of St Luke in Antwerp. He often travelled abroad and was living in Paris in 1624 and in London from c.1635. However, he was again active in Haarlem in 1637 and became a member of the guild there. He then returned to London, remaining from 1638 to c.1641. Engraver and antiquary G. Vertue records Bol’s paintings of ‘three views of London from the River side; Arundel house, Somersett [sic] house, Towner Lond [sic], Painted before the fire of London’, for diarist John Evelyn. In 1649 Bol re-joined the guild in Haarlem, where he later died.
  • Explore
  • Details
    Somerset House, in its Original State
    published 11 October 1809
    Coloured engraving
    height: 29.90 cm, width: 41.40 cm
    Purchased from the Parker Gallery, December 1935
    purchased from the Parker Gallery, 1935
    GAC number