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Maps of Grundarfjörður and Kirkjufell

Sæmundur Magnússon Hólm  1784

 The two angles that the illustrator draws up in his images of the same place, Grundarfjörður, are quite interesting. In a way he mixes science and art, surveying and landscape art. The purpose was to draw up a map and scale the town of Grundarfjörður. It is a sort of planning map in which the fields of the farm Grund, which was bought for the town, are split into several strips of land for future townsfolk. The work was done by Sæmundur Magnússon Hólm who was a priest at Helgafell in 1792.

Sæmundur's plans were included with Snæfellsnes county magistrate Finnur Jónsson's measurements dated the same year.


Sæmundur Hólm was born in 1749 at Hólmasel in Meðalland and took the name of his birthplace. He studied theology at the University of Copenhagen but also studied at the Art Academy and received recognition for his works. When he came home he became priest at Helgafell where he worked until 1819 and passed away in 1821.

Sæmundur is one of very few Icelanders to be educated in art before the 20 th century. He was quite skilled in drawing as best seen in his extant portraits as well as many maps and other practical drawings.


ÞÍ 5/4 1784-1784, ÞÍ 5/4 1784-1784

National Archives of Iceland