|Artist||Pieter Van der Aa after David Loggan|
|Dimensions||Image 125 x 160 mm, Sheet 150 x 189 mm|
A view of Cambridge from the west from James Beverell's 'Les Delices de la Grande Bretagne et de L'Irlande'.
First published in 1707, Beverell's 'Les Delices de la Grande Bretagne et de L'Irlande' was an eight volume series depicting a variety of views from across the United Kingdom, including those of royal palaces, stately homes, cathedrals, and naval towns. Two volumes were dedicated solely to Oxford and Cambridge, consisting of plates of the colleges that were copied and reduced directly from David Loggan's 'Oxonia Illustrata' of 1675. In total, 'Les Delices de la Grande Bretagne et de L'Irlande' comprised of 241 engraved plates and maps after David Loggan, Johannes Kip, John Selzer, and others. Despite the publication ultimately being a collection of reduced copies of other engravers' work, 'Les Delices de la Grande Bretagne et de L'Irlande' is a fine example of early eighteenth-century printmaking.
Pieter van der Aa (1659 – 1733) was a Dutch publisher, best known for preparing maps and atlases. Despite producing his own work, van der Aa is also known for his production of pirated editions of illustrated publications and foreign bestsellers. Beginning his career as a Latin trade publisher in Leiden in 1683, van der Aa's ambition was to one day become the most famous printer in the city. In 1715, van der Aa was appointed the head printer for Leiden and its university.
David Loggan (1635-1692), artist and engraver, was born at Danzig in 1635. He may have learnt the art of engraving from Simon van den Passe in Denmark and from Hendrik Hondius in the Netherlands. Loggan followed Hondius's sons to England in about 1653, and by 1665 he was residing at Nuffield, near Oxford, and had made the acquaintance of the antiquarian Anthony Wood. On 30 March 1669 he was appointed Engraver to the University of Oxford, with an annual salary of twenty shillings. He married a daughter of Robert Jordan, Esq. of Kencote Hall in Oxfordshire in 1671, and in 1672 they had a son, John Loggan, who later graduated from Trinity College. The marriage probably produced another son, William Loggan, about whom little is known except that he was responsible for a satirical print of Father Peters and the Jesuits, published in 1681. David Loggan took up residence in Holywell in about 1671, prior to matriculating at the University. In 1675 he was naturalised as an Englishman. The remainder of his life was spent mostly in London, where he worked as an agent and art dealer, and as Engraver to the University of Cambridge, a position he attained in 1690, two years before his death. Loggan's two great works were a series of architectural bird's eye plans of the colleges and public buildings of Oxford and Cambridge, the Oxonia Illustrata, published in 1675, and its rarer sister Cantabrigia Illustrata, which appeared at some point previous to 1690. Following Loggan's death, the plates were acquired and reprinted by Henry Overton in 1705 and c.1710 respectively.
Cantabrigia Illustrata, like its earlier Oxonian counterpart, was the first illustrated book on Cambridge and one of the major works of the 17th century. Begun shortly after the publication of Oxonia Illustrata in 1675, the work was likely inspired by the time Loggan spent at Trinity College working on prints of Wren's designs for Trinity College library. Although the exact date of publication is unknown, it was certainly in circulation by 1690, the year in which Loggan was appointed Engraver to the University of Cambridge.