Hollar was a natural line draftsman tackling a huge range of subjects. His panoramic sketches of towns attracted me for their logic of cubic arrangements and sureness of perspectival relations. I always assumed he used an optical device, for speed of execution (given the prolific nature of his topographic profession, and for binding in the composition. Above all I sense in his work a density of reference, a feeling that everything mattered, and that it was about to change at any minute.
John Aubrey was much taken by him.
"He told that when was a schoolboy he tooke a delight in drawing maps; which drafts he kept, and they were pretty. He was designed by his father to be a lawyer, and was put to that profession, when his father troubles, together with the Warres forced him to leave his country [Bohemia]..... He was very short sighted, and did work so curiously that the curiosity of his work is not to be judged without a magnifying-glass. When he took his landscapes, he, then, had a glass to helpe his sight.... He was a very friendly, good-natured man as could be, but Shiftless to the World, and dyed not rich. "