The Old Town Square, Prague

The Old Town Square, Prague


Thomas Shotter Boys (1803-1874)
The Old Town Square, Prague

Signed on shop sign: T.S. Boys and inscribed lower centre: Prague
Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour and stopping out
44.9 by 34.9 cm., 17 ½ by 13 ¾ in.

Anonymous sale, Sotheby's 16th November 1989, lot 126;
With Spinks, London, where bought by the present owner

This is a view of the Old Town Square in Prague, with The Old Town Hall and its famous Astronomical Clock on the left.  The imposing Gothic Church of Our Lady before Tyn overlooks the square.  The church is still missing its northern spire which was burnt down in a fire in 1819.  A new spire was re-constructed during repairs to the church in the latter half of the 19
th century.   The watercolour also shows the pillar of the Virgin Mary in the centre of the square.  The column was erected after the successful defence of the city against the Swedes in 1648 but was pulled down by the townspeople in 1918 who saw the pillar as a symbol of the ousted Habsburg regime.
Boys first visited Prague in 1842 and he exhibited nine views of the city between 1843 and 1862. For another version of this view dated 1860, see James Roundell,
Thomas Shotter Boys, 1974, pl. 98, p.202.