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hobbes | all galleries >> Images accompanying Thermonuclear Monarchy by Elaine Scarry > Figure 3. Drawing of frontispiece of Leviathan, 1651. Copyright: The British Library Board. Egerton 1910 F1
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Figure 3. Drawing of frontispiece of  Leviathan, 1651. Copyright: The British Library Board. Egerton 1910 F1

Figure 3. Drawing of frontispiece of Leviathan, 1651. Copyright: The British Library Board. Egerton 1910 F1

The beautiful drawing of the frontispiece -- which Hobbes gave to Charles II – is believed to have been made by either Abraham Bosse or Wenceslaus Hollar. Recent scholarship strongly favors Abraham Bosse.

The location of the town on a high ridge is implied by the fact that its ground is much darker, hence nearer to us, than the surrounding plains which, by being much lighter in tone, seem much farther away – as though they have dropped to a lower elevation.

The most striking difference between the etching and the drawing is the outward-looking faces of the drawing which more successfully convey Hobbes’s central thesis that the Leviathan is constituted by our own bodies.


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