Wenzel Hollar, a Bohemian engraver, born in Prague in 1607, died in London, March 28, 1677. At 18 years of age he produced his plates of the "Virgin and Child" and the "Ecce Homo." In 1636 ho attracted the attention of the earl of Arundel, the British ambassador to the German emperor, who took him in his suite to England. He now practised his art with great reputation and success, and executed portraits of the royal family and of the earl of Arundel, besides views of places, and a set of 28 plates of female costume of all ranks, entitled Ornatus Muliebris Anglicanus. Under the commonwealth he became somewhat involved in political affairs through his association with the royalist friends of his patron, with several of whom he was taken prisoner at the surrender of Basing House in Hampshire in 1645. Being set at liberty after a short imprisonment, he joined the earl of Arundel in Antwerp, where ho passed several years. During this period he engraved Holbein's "Dance of Death" and other works of the old masters. He returned to England in 1652, but in the latter part of his life became reduced to great indigence.

His prints numbered nearly 2,400, many of them of small size executed for the booksellers, who paid him at the rate of fourpence an hour.