Thursday, 5 October 2017

Thomas Bewick, A Long-lost Treasure.


 From the website of Jarndyce Books

An important discovery.
 
BEWICK, Thomas. The Sketchbook of 1792-1799. Edited with an Introduction & Commentary by Nigel Tattersfield. Jarndyce Antiquarian Booksellers. 2017
Oblong quarto, 182 x 253mm, thread-sewn in decorative paste boards, cloth spine, gilt lettered. Limited to 200 copies, signed by the Editor. ISBN 978-1-910156-15-5.

The emergence of this original sketchbook is a significant event for all who appreciate the superlative qualities of the wood engraver, Thomas Bewick, 1753-1828. It is now reproduced in fine facsimile, with detailed explanatory text by Nigel Tattersfield, the leading authority on Bewick's life and work and superbly designed by Iain Bain, doyen of Bewick studies. Remarkably, it appears that this is the only formal sketchbook Bewick ever employed - he was accustomed to using scraps of paper in his daily work. This volume contains memoranda and jottings relating to his journeys and expenses, preparatory drawings for the History of British Birds, thumbnail sketches of subjects which caught Bewick's eye and, perhaps most importantly, detailed drawings of farmyard animals. These were taken at the behest of 'agricultural gentlemen' - a commission which gave Bewick endless trouble. Eventually, these were used for the fourth edition of the Quadrupeds (1800). There are, in all, over forty images. The commentary, augmented with a map and an additional forty illustrations, makes full use of Bewick's own memoir, his correspondence and his many surviving workbooks, shedding light on the background to this unique document.
Full details here.

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