THE SOUTH EAST PROSPECT OF THE CITY OF YORK. Buck, Samuel and Nathaniel Buck

$ 5,525.00

17.75 x 33.75 Inches.

Samuel and Nathaniel Buck were brothers who were born in Yorkshire, England at around the turn of the 18th century. After spending their formative years in the north, they moved south to the great bustling metropolis that was London, as so many rural people did in those days, seeking their possible fame and fortune. As young men, around 1724, they set out and began an ambitious work to traverse each and every county within England and Wales. They began to engrave and prepare the particular countys antiquities  be they free standing or semi ruinous castles, stately homes, or religious and monastic buildings of importance and consequence  although many were in an extremely poor state of neglect and abject disrepair after the first King Henry VIII in the 16th century, and then Oliver Cromwell later in the 17th century had their respective religious purges. It was during the preparation of these collections of county antiquities that the Buck brothers struck on the novel idea to also engrave some of the more important cities and towns. So, in my opinion, what resulted was the most wondrous, most influential and most important topographical undertaking that was ever done of England and Wales, not only of the 18th century but also for many years afterward. Prior to Bucks magnificent copper plate panoramas, virtually nothing had been done to depict views of significant English cities and towns. Only a handful were included in the atlas by Braun and Hogenberg in their Civitates Orbis Terrurum published in Cologne in 1581. I honestly feel that there is nothing at all to compare with these exquisite panoramas, in terms of technical skill, engraved detail and sheer scale and size. I also feel that a huge debt of gratitude is owed to these two enterprising and ambitious brothers, who have left us not only with a wonderful and enduring legacy, but also a truly unique glimpse and brief insight into an English way of life that can never be replicated nor indeed pass our way ever again. The northern city of York has to be one of the most important historic cities in Britain. From its Roman origins in the first century, through the Angles occupation in the fifth century, and then the Vikings in the ninth century, York has always been a region capital, and a centre of enormous influence, both commercially, and ecclesiastically. The Archbishop of York is the highest clergyman in the north of England, and second only to the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Church of England hierarchy. York geographically has always been extremely important, as it lies halfway between London and Edinburgh. This has made it a more than useful communications and transport hub. In 1068, the towns people of York rebelled against the Norman invasion, and as a result of this, the then York Minster (cathedrals are known as a Minster in the north of England) was destroyed by William the Conqueror in his infamous Harrying of the North, whereby he laid to waste anywhere than did not readily submit to his Norman French laws. In 1080, work had begun on building a new Minster. The copperplate Buck prospect view of York, published in 1745, shows a city that is large, important, confident and secure. Gazing along the panorama, many churches are seen, always a sign of position, prosperity and wealth, along with well established ancient gateways, towers, the city walls, and one or two prominent civic buildings. The colossal and powerful image of the Minster dominates the panorama, and is seen properly for the truly magnificent piece of medieval architecture and triumph it surely is.This is a rare and significant opportunity to acquire one of these much sort after panoramas by Englands premier topographical engravers, and is entirely in keeping with Arader Galleries fine and long traditiion of only offering items of the very highest quality for 40 years. Description prepared for Arader Galleries by Ian Williams.