|Method||Etching and engraving|
|Artist||after William Hole|
|Published||[Pub by WRichardson Sepr. 1 1796 York House 31 Strand, London]|
|Dimensions||Image 152 x 118 mm, Sheet 193 x 127 mm|
A half-length portrait of Michael Drayton in an oval shaped decorative border. He is wearing a laurel crown with ribbons, and a lace collar under a doublet which is embroidered along the buttons. A copy after Hole's 1619 frontispiece to Drayton's 'Poems', 1796.
Inscription: "Lux Hareshulla tibi ... resonant Arma Viri Veneres" meaning: "Harsull, small town, where first your breath you drew, Till by your birth renowned, was known to few: Albion, Arms, Legend, Love, with fame you crowned; Albion, Arms, Legends, Love, your Fame resound", verses written by an unknown poet about Drayton's birthplace.
Michael Drayton (1563-1631) was an English poet who composed the Poly-Olbion. This was illustrated with one of the most unusual series of county maps ever published. The Poly-Olbion was a series of poems, or songs, extolling the beauties of the English and Welsh countryside, and was first published in 1612. William Hole, who also engraved maps for Camden's Britannia, was commissioned to provide the maps to illustrate these songs. Drayton states that each map is "lively delineating ... every mountaine, forrest, river and valley; expressing in their sundry pastures; their loves, delights and naturall situations". Thus, it was clearly the intention to produce allegorical maps showing the natural topographical features of the county. As such very few towns or cities are shown on the maps. Each feature is accompanied by an allegorical figure - hills are shown with shepherds, rivers with water nymphs, islands with goddesses, towns with female figures wearing mural crowns, or crowns alone are used to denote London and royal palaces.
William Hole (active 1600-1624) was a skilled English engraver active in the seventeenth century. Best-known for producing maps for Camden's 'Britannia', Hole also engraved portraits, music scores, frontispieces and topographical scenes.
William Richardson (fl. 1777-1814) was an English print dealer and publisher active in London. His father might also have been a print seller. He mainly produced caricatures and satires in his early career and later specialised in portrait prints.
Condition: Good impression. Minor overall time toning. Trimmed within plate mark.