17th Century In a New Frame

by Liza Laserow

Swedish 17th Century copper print from the collection


Swedish 17th Century copper print from the collection


I am a big fan of these kind of prints because of their contemporary but yet traditional feel and work absolutely best when used in a group of 6-8 to cover a whole wall.

The big name behind the famous copper engravings series “Suecian” is a man called Eric Jonsson who later got the name Dahlberg. He had a background within the military but managed to get himself an education in Germany as a writer, which was quite an achievement for an orphan during the 17th Century. In Germany Mr Dahberg learned the basics to draw and sketch that later developed into a more advanced form of architecture drawing and 1650 when he  was sent to Frankfurt he got in touch with ” Theatrum Europaeum”: A series of portraits of important Swedish officers and this gave him the idea to produce a series of copper prints of Sweden and the Swedish countryside. The work started 1660 but because of the war against Denmark the work got delayed and was not completed when he died 1703. The Suecia can be described as the grand vision of Sweden during its period as a great power. In its final state Suecia Antiqua et Hodierna comprised three volumes with a total of 353 plates

The process started by making a model with pencil made on site that then was translated into ink. The model was used to engrave a copper plate. Since the copper printing technique was not to be found in Sweden the main part of the work was made in France and Holland.