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Full text of "The graphic arts of Great Britain; drawing, line-engraving, etching, mezzotint, aquatint, lithography, wood-engraving, colour-printing"

THE 

GRAPHIC ARTS 

OF GREAT BRITAIN 

DRAWING 

LINE-ENGRAVING 

ETCHING 

MEZZOTINT 

AQUATINT 

LITHOGRAPHY 

WOOD-ENGRAVING 

COLOUR-PRINTING 




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SPECIAL NUMBER OF "THE STUDIO." NOW READY 



Arts and Crafts 

A REVIEW OF THE WORK EXECUTED BY STUDENTS 

IN THE LEADING ART SCHOOLS OF 

GREAT BRITAIN S- IRELAND 



WHAT ARE THE ART SCHOOLS OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND 
DOING TO FOSTER THE CLOSER UNION OF THE ARTS AND 
CRAFTS ? THE QUESTION IS ONE OF VITAL IMPORTANCE. NOW 
MORE THAN EVER; FOR IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THE PRESENT AND 
COMING GENERATIONS OF WORKERS SHOULD BE FULLY TRAINED 
AND EQUIPPED FOR THE RACE FOR ARTISTIC PREDOMINANCE, TO BE 
RUN IN THE NEAR FUTURE BY THE GREAT NATIONS OF THE WORLD. 

IN ORDER THAT SOME GENERAL IDEA OF EXISTING CONDITIONS 
MAY BE FORMED, THE EDITOR OF "THE STUDIO," WITH THE AID 
OF THE PRINCIPALS, HAS PREPARED A SPECIAL NUMBER OF "THE 
STUDIO" DEALING WITH THE WORK OF THE LEADING SCHOOLS. 

ARTICLES HAVE BEEN CONTRIBUTED BY WELL-KNOWN ART 
MASTERS AND OTHERS, AND A SPECIAL FEATURE OF THE 
VOLUME CONSISTS OF A LARGE NUMBER OF INTERESTING ILLUSTRA- 
TIONS (SOME OF WHICH ARE IN COLOURS) INCLUDING EXAMPLES OF: 

INTERIOR DECORATION, FURNITURE, MURAL DECORATION, 
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FASHION PLATES, Etc. 

THESE ILLUSTRATIONS, OF WHICH THERE ARE ABOUT THREE HUN- 
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A 



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AD. PAGE II 



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PRNL OVF" SCHOOL OF r^^iS^i^^^::^:^""''''"'^ 
„,. MODERN PICTORIAL & LANDSCAPE ART 

Prmcipal: FRANK SPEhfLOVE^PENLOVE. R.L. R-O.L. R-CA. iCoU MmUUuI. ParU Salon. Md loUnutional H«aoun. 

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DemoDitration Imtniction. — Tb« prec«u of poinrim, from tb« **Slwtch'* to Iho ** Finiibod Pirtwro." 



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JiMlJIiilpiiiM piiiiM^ ""' i i liiiiijiililiiiiiiijjliiiiiiiili tiimi^ 



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^"^ Whatman. No drawing paper responds so readily to the brush 
of the artist as Whatman — no paper is so safe or so permanent. 
England is supreme in the art of water-colour painting — and the 
greatest of her painters for the last 150 years aliased Whatman. 

Whatman Drawing Paper is genuine hand made. 

No bleach or chemicals enter into its manufacture and 

only the purest materials are used 

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To be had in three surfaces: H.P. (Smooth) best for 
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ARTISTS 



INTERESTED IN THE PERMANENT PRESERVATION 
OF THEIR PICTURES SHOULD USE ONLY THE 



'Unbleached Arnold' 

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and Cotton Rags are used. 
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BECAUSE Greater Brilliancy of Colour and more permanent Results are obtained 
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THIS PAPER CAN BE OBTAINED FROM ALL 
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Samples will be sent post free on application to 

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AD. PAGE IV 



THE GRAPHIC ARTS 
OF GREAT BRITAIN 

DRAWING, LINE-ENGRAVING 

ETCHING, MEZZOTINT 

AQUATINT, LITHOGRAPHY 

WOOD- ENGRAVING 

COLOUR-PRINTING 



EDITED BY 
CHARLES HOLME 



TEXT BY 
MALCOLM C. SALAMAN 



MCMXVII 

"STUDIO" LTD. 

LONDON PARIS, NEW YORK 



ti 



PREFATORY NOTE 

THE Editor desires to express his thanks to the following col- 
lectors and others who have lent drawings or prints for repro- 
duction in this volume: Mr. Harold Hartley, Mrs. H. J. 
Pfungst, Mr. Charles H. Shannon, A.R.A., Mr. Charles 
Ricketts, Mrs. Brandon Thomas, Mr. Horace Tipple, Miss Phyllis 
Allen, Mr. C. Mallord Turner, Sir Frank Short, R.A., P.R.E., Capt. 
Martin Hardie, A.R.E., Miss Constance Pott, R.E., Mr. Aug. Walker, 
Mr. Walter Sickert, Mr. Basil Dighton, Mr. Frank L. Emanuel, Mr. 
D. Croal Thomson, The Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cam- 
bridge, Messrs. P. & D. Colnaghi 6c Obach, Messrs. Ernest Brown & 
Phillips, The Carfax Gallery, The Chenil Gallery ; also to Lieut. 
Lancelot Crane, Mr. Robert Dunthorne, Mr. Arthur Greatorex, Mr. 
William Heinemann, The Proprietors of " Punch," and Messrs. L. H. 
Lefevre & Son, who have kindly allowed their copyright subjects to 
appear. The Editor also wishes to acknowledge his indebtedness to 
the various artists who have co-operated with him in the preparation 
of this work by allowing examples of their work to be illustrated. 



Ill 



CONTENTS 



ARTICLES BY MALCOLM C. SALAMAN 



Introductory . 
Drawing 
Line-engraving , 
Etching and Dry-point 
Aquatint , 
Mezzotint . 
Colour-printing 
Lithography 
Wood-engraving 



PAGE 

I 

3 
43 

55 
83 

95 
109 
121 

H3 



ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOURS 

Brangwyn, Frank, A.R.A, P.R.B.A. : "The Builders" (Chalk 

Dramng) . . . . . . ' . . -3^ 

Laurenson, E. L. : "Chelsea Reach" {Aquatint) .... 91 

Smith, J. R. : "What You Will" {Stipple-engraving) . . .107 

RoussEL, Theodore: " L'Agonie des Fleurs " {Aquatint) . .111 
Giles, William: "The Last Gleam, Corsica" {Metal-relief Plates) 115 
Mackie, Charles H., R.S.A. : " The Palace Gardens, Venice " 

{Wood-block Print) 119 

Jackson, F. Ernest: "The Lovers" {Lithograph) . . • ^11 
Fletcher, F. Morley : " Wiston River" {Wood-block Print). . 151 



ILLUSTRATIONS IN MONOTONE 
DR.\WING 

Beardsley, Aubrey : " The Birthday of Madame Cigale " {Pen-and-ink) 
Belcher, George : " Village Worthy discussing possibility of 

Invasion " {Chalk and Wash) ...... 

Bone, Muirhead : " Near the Pump-Room, Bath " {Lead Pencil) . 
Burne-Jones, Bart., Sir Edward : " The Entombment " {Lead 

Pencil and Chalk) ........ 

V 



41 

34 

16 



Drawing — Continued page 
Cameron, D. Y., A.R.A,, A.R.S.A. : " Balquhidder " {Pen-and-ink 

and Wash) 37 

Clausen, George, R.A., R.W.S. : Study for " Primavera " (fihalk) 27 

Cole, Ernest A. : Study of Heads {Sanguine) .... 39 

Constable, John, R.A. : "View in Wivenhoe Park" {Lead Pencil) 11 
CoTMAN, John Sell : " Cader Idris " {Lead Pencil) . . .12 

Crane, Walter, R.W.S. : " Eve " {Pen-and-ink) .... 26 

Du Maurier, George : " The Maiden's Point of View " {Pen-and-ink) 23 

9 

22 

21 
29 
42 



Gainsborough, Thomas, R.A. : " Mrs. Siddons " {Chalk) 

Keene, Charles : " Classical ! " {Pen-and-ink) 

Leech, John : " A Picnic in the Drawing-Room " {Lead Pencil) 

May, Phil : " Sweet Lavender " {Pen-and-ink) 

McBey, James : " The Violin- Player " {Pen-and-ink) 

MiLLAis, Bart., Sir J. E., P.R.A. : " The Parable of the Marriage 

Feast " {Pen-and-ink on Wood) ..... 
Nicholson, William : " Chicot " {Pen-and-ink and Colour-wash) 
Orpen, William, A.R.A. : " The Bather " {Lead Pencil and Wash) 
PiNWELL, G. J. : " Gossips " {Pen-and-ink) .... 
Rossetti, D. G. : " Mary Magdalene at the Door of Simon the 

Pharisee " {Pen-and-ink) ...... 

Sandys, Frederick : " Contemplation " {Chalk) . 

SiCKERT, Walter : Study {Pen-and-ink and Chalk) 

Stevens, Alfred : Study for an Angel {Sanguine) 

Sullivan, Edmund J., A.R.W.S. : " Lady Flora " {Pen-and-ink) 

Tenniel, Sir John : " Armenia's Appeal " {Lead Pencil) 

Turner, J. M. W., R.A. : " Hotel de Ville, Louvain, with theXhurch 

of St. Pierre " {Pen-and-ink and Body-colour) 



17 

38 

35 
18 

15 
19 

30 

13 

33 
24 

10 



LINE-ENGRAVING 

Badeley, J. F., R.E. : " Lucifer " 54 

Blake, William : Illustration for the " Book of Job " . .51 

Calvert, Edward : " The Bride " . . . . . .52 

Cooke, George, after J. M. W. Turner, R.A. : " Poole, Dorsetshire " 53 
Faithorne, William : " Sir Robert Henley " . . . .48 

Hogarth, William : " The Rake's Progress," Plate H . . 50 

Rogers, William : " Queen Elizabeth " . . . . -47 

Sherwin, J. K. : " WiUiam WooUett " 49 



VI 



ETCHING AND DRY-POINT 

Bone, Muirhead : " Orvieto "..... 

BoNiNCTON, R. P. : " Bologna " {Unpublished state) 

Brancwyn, Frank, A.R.A., P.R.B.A. : " The Church of St. Peter's 

of the Exchange, Genoa "..... 
Cameron, D. Y., A.R.A., A.R.S.A. : " Strathearn " 
Dawson, Nelson, R.E. : " On the North Lagoon " 
East, Sir Alfred, R.A., P.R.B.A., R.E. : " A Glade in the Cots 

wolds" 

Haden, Sir Francis Seymour, P.R.E. : " Brentford Ferry " 
Hankey, W. Lee, R.E. : " The Shepherdess " 
Hollar, VVenceslaus : " Albury " . . . . 

Lecros, Alphonse : " La Maison du Charron " 
LuMSDEN, E. S., R.E. : " The Umbrella "... 

McBey, James : " Ely " 

Osborne, Malcolm, R.E. : " Bannockburn and Stirling Castle " 

Robins, W. P., R.E. : " The Brook " . 

Short, Sir Frank, R.A., P.R.E. : " Low Tide and the Evening Star 

and Rye's long Pier deserted " .... 

Spence, Robert, R.E. : " Les Lunettes de Francois Villon " 
Watson, Charles J., R.E. : " Interior of St. Etienne-du-Mont 

Paris" 

Whistler, J. McNeill : " Longshoremen " {From the " Thames ' 

Set) 



AQUATINT 

Baskett, C. H., A.R.E. : " Whitstable " . . .. 
Daniell, William, R.A. : "Tenby, Pembrokeshire" (1814) 
Gaskell, Percival, R.E. : " The Heron's Pool " 
Hartley, Alfred, R.E. : " Misty Morning, St. Ives " 
Sandby, Paul, R.A. : " Welsh Bridge at Shrewsbury " (1778) 
Short, Sir Frank, R.A., P.R.E. : " Sunrise o'er Whitby Scaur " 



PAOB 

70 
64 

71 
69 

7(> 

73 
65 
75 
63 
(>7 
78 

17 
82 
81 

68 
79 

72 
66 



94 

88 

93 
90 

87 
89 



MEZZOTINT 

Bentley, Alfred, R.E. : " Rochester Castle " . . . .104 
Gaskell, Percival, R.E. : " The Isle of Purbeck "... 100 
Short, Sir Frank, R.A., P.R.E. : " The Night Picket-Boat, Hammer- 
smith " 105 

vii 



Mezzotint — Continued page 

Smith, J. R. : "A Lady leaving the Circulating Library " . -91 
Turner, J. M. W., R.A. : " The Junction of Severn and Wye " . 109 
Waterson, David, R.E. : " Dawn "...... 103 

COLOUR-PRINTING 

Verpilleux, E. a.: "King's College Chapel, Cambridge" . .118 
Ward, William, A.E. : " Alinda " 117 

LITHOGRAPHY 

Bonington, R. P, : " View of Dunkirk " . ... . .127 

Brangwyn, Frank, A.R.A., P.R.B.A. : " The Last Boat, Antwerp, 

1914" 136 

Conder, Charles: "The Dancers" {From the "Carnival" Set) . 131 

Copley, John : " The Musicians " . . . , . . 140 

Gabain, Ethel: " Colombine a sa Toilette" . . . • ^39 

GossE, Sylvia : " The Minx "....... 142 

Harding, J. D. : " Fishing Boats " . ... . .126 

Hartrick, a. S., A.R.W.S. : " Niedpath Castle, Tweed" . . 135 

Macbeth, R. W., R.A. : "Weed-Burners in the Fens" . . 132 

Nash, Joseph: "St. Jacques, Dieppe" . . . . .128 

Prout, Samuel : " On the Walls, Cologne " . . . .125 

Pryse, G. Spencer, R.B.A. : " They that go up to the Merciful Town " 137 

Shannon, Charles H., A.R.A. : " Salt Water " . . . .129 

Shepperson, Claude A., A.R.W.S. : " The Casino Orchestra " . 141 

WOOD-ENGRAVING 

Bewick, Thomas : " The Chillingham Bull " .... 147 

Blake, William : Illustration for Thornton's Edition of Ambrose 

Phihp's " Pastorals " 148 

Brangwyn, Frank, A.R.A., P.R.B.A.: "A Fair Wind" . . 153 
Calvert, Edward : " The Ploughman " . . . . . 148 

Lee, Sydney, R.E. : "The Bridge" ...... 154 

Moore, T. Sturge : Frontispiece to "A Conflict" . . .150 

Raverat, Gwendolen: "Gypsies" . . . . . • ISS 

Ricketts, Charles: Frontispiece to Plato's "Symposium" . •149 

Sleigh, Bernard: "The Vision of Piers Plowman" . . . 156 



Vlll 



INTRODUCTORY 

NK\'ER have the Graphic Arts in Great Britain been so much 
ahve as during recent years, thanks to the stimulus ofwidcn- 
ingappreciation,andnevcrhastheartist had so varied a choice 
of methods to express his moods. And this is well ; for, as 
Ingres has said, "drawing is the probity of art " ; and, though painting 
may challenge all the isms to conflict, art may be trusted to work out 
her own salvation as long as drawing is true to the vital expression of 
torm. The painter, with impulse to graphic utterance, may put down 
his palette and take up pencil or pen, chalk or charcoal to enjoy draughts- 
manship for its own sake, as the masters were wont to do, makini^, not 
only sketches and studies for further development, but drawings that 
shall be definitely expressive, without necessarily any ulterior thought 
of translation to paint. The book-illustrator, never more voluminous 
than now, need not be an illustrator and nothing more ; he may, as 
indeed he should, be a decorator too, making books beautiful with 
gracious and significant design. Then, the draughtsman, if he have with 
his artistic equipment the sense and faculty of the craftsman, may turn 
to the copper-plate, the wood-block, or the stone, each of them having 
been emancipated from the merely reproductive service which so long 
held it in bondage, and may express himself freely through the artistic 
language of the medium, restricted only by his loyalty to the nature of 
the material. This revival of original expression through the different 
graphic mediums is one of the most remarkable phases of artistic 
activity at the present time ; and it is the purpose of this volume to show 
how in Great Britain each method, even when it has been fettered by 
the claims of the copyist and the translator, has at some period found 
the rare artist, or even the occasional group of artists, to whose need of 
expression its special qualities have appealed with artistic results that 
have carried on its tradition, and preserved live influences for the 
practice of to-day and to-morrow. 

So the past as well as the present shall speak to us in the following pages, 
with the various charm of art that needs but line and tone to express all 
the pictorial significance of nature, whatever her mood and aspect. And 
we shall learn how diversely the graphic methods lend themselves to 
the individual artistic temperament, as we turn, say, from the precise 
line and definitive statement of the seventeenth-century portrait-en- 
graver to the imaginative linear expressiveness of Blake ; or from Sey- 
mour Haden's traditional handling of the etching-needle to the defiant 
independence of Mr. Brangwyn ; or, again, from the matter-of-fact- 
ness of J. R. Smith's sterling mezzotint to the poetic infinitudes of Sir 
Frank Short ; from the simple superficial tones of Paul Sandby's 
aquatint to the sensitive subtleties of Mr. Hartley ; from the illustra- 
tive line of Bewick's wood-engraving to the decorative significance of 
Mr. Ricketts ; or from Prout's cold accuracies of representation upon 

I 



INTRODUCTORY 

the stone to the lithographic lyricism of Mr. Shannon ; from the casual 
colour-printing of the eighteenth-century stipple-engraver to the 
artistically-planned colour-engraving of a Roussel or a Giles. 
It is not the least element of charm proper to each of these graphic arts 
that thus, like the bird in Andrew Marvell's " Garden," " it waves in its 
plumes the various light," and so, light calling to light, it appeals with 
an infinite diversity of expressive capacity. For, after all, it is the ex- 
pression of the emotional significance of any pictorial subject that stirs 
the artist's impulse ; and, since this significance can never be visually 
the same for any two temperaments, it must call naturally for such an 
individuality of manner in handling the particular medium as will give 
vitality to the expression. But even the most conspicuous originality 
can only extend artistic tradition by revealing fresh points of view, and 
developing means and manner of using them, to suit the new ways of 
vision. Indeed, M. Bracquemond, the famous French etcher, goes so 
far as to assert, with Victor Hugo at his back, that there is no progress 
in the arts. " Nature, their model," he says, " is unchangeable ; and the 
arts cannot transcend her limits. They attain completeness of expres- 
sion in the work of a master, on whom other masters are formed. Then 
comes development, and then a lapse, an interval. By and by, art is born 
anew under the stimulus of a man who catches from Light a new con- 
vention." The history of painting continually verifies this truth, and 
so, with the names of Rembrandt, Ostade, Claude, Meryon, Whistler 
punctuating its periods, does the story of etching. In a lesser degree, 
as will be seen in the following pages, the record of all the graphic arts 
is one of original activity, then lapse into mere reproductive conven- 
tionalism, and later, revival with fresh artistic stimulus. But it is only 
original expression that concerns us here ; the reproductive phases of 
each method, however brilliant in results, as, for instance, the great 
mezzotint translations of the eighteenth century, the magnificent wood- 
cut facsimiles and interpretations of the eighteen-sixties, have been 
necessarily beyond the scope of our survey. But in all the graphic arts 
vital and sensitive draughtsmanship is the essential of expression. To 
quote, again, Bracquemond : " Drawing is the means employed by art 
to set down and imitate the light of nature." And it is the suggestive 
vitality with which an artist's drawing verifies the facts of nature as re- 
vealed by light, with its complements, reflection, and shadow, that 
proves the draughtsman's quality. His conception may be imaginative, 
his governing idea fantastic or grotesque, his purpose simply illustra- 
tive or decorative, but, whatever the point of view, in any drawing that 
has artistically expressive significance every line and mass will bear that 
animating relation to the whole which makes it a live entity, into which 
we read our own thought and feeling. This expressive quality of vital 
draughtsmanship is exemplified in the following pages. 
2 



DRAWING 

IN the sheltering cellars of the \'ictoria and Albert Museum I had 
been enjoying the privilege of looking through the late H. J. 
Ptungst's choice collection of Gainsborough's drawings before 
there was any thought of its finding its way, alas ! to Christie's. I 
had been delighting in the grace, the charm, the sensibility, the vital 
expressiveness, of the master's draughtsmanship, as I turned from the 
figure or portrait study, with its gracious vivacity, to the happy land- 
scape sketch — ^iust a country roadside, perhaps, with a farmer's waggon 
lumbering contentedly along, vet informed with all the artist's lovablc- 
ness of feeling. Then, saturated with the charm of Gainsborough, to 
my consternation I chanced upon this surprising printed utterance of 
an artist so revered as George Frederick Watts : " Reynolds was not re- 
markable tor good drawing; Gainsborough was remarkable for bad." 
Gainsborough's drawing bad? What, then, is good drawing.' I won- 
dered as I thought over the ninety and odd examples of Gainsborough's 
graphic expression I had been looking at with so much artistic satis- 
faction, each, in the true accents ot its medium — whether chalk, 
pen-and-ink, wash or charcoal — telling me intimately of something 
beautifully animate, because the artist had felt it with all the sincerity 
of his emotional nature. Why, what but good drawing could express 
life like this chalk study (p. 9) for the National Gallery portrait of Mrs. 
Siddons .? Does the completed painting of the great actress suggest 
more to us than these simple chalk strokes do of the captivating sym- 
metry of her person, or of the facial aspect, which, as Boaden tells us, 
was "so thoroughly harmonized when quiescent, and so expressive 
when impassioned," that most people thought her more beautiful than 
she was. But if you want to see the consummate expressive charm ot 
Gainsborough's drawing you may go to the Print Room of the British 
Museum and look at some of the landscape studies that were the utter- 
ances of his pure joy in nature, and a delicious group of a young woman 
and three children, and above all ^ Lady Walking in the Mall, that, for 
the life of her, you will believe ^vas there, in the promenade of fashion, 
on that same day when Oliver Goldsmith, in his "best wig," as he tells, 
squired his Cousin Hannah in all her finery. Did even the supple grace 
and magic vivacity of Watteau's draughtsmanship ever show with 
strokes of chalk a woman more truly and charmingly alive with the air 
and grace of her time t 

No one ever used the pencil with more exquisite subtlety of expression 
than Turner, and had it been possible for the half-tone process to repro- 
duce the delicacies of his touch without any loss of this subtle power, I 
could have wished for Turner's marvellous draughtsmanship, which 
will be seen later through the medium of engraving, to be represented 
here by one of those wonderful pencil drawings in which his artistic 
conception was set down with such freshness of vision. But the draw- 

3 



DRAWING 

ing that does exemplify the master here (p. lo) is one of pathetic in- 
terest in the light of recent events. It shows us the glorious Gothic 
Hotel de Ville of, now devastated, Louvain, with the famous Church 
of St. Pierre, as Turner saw these in 1825, ^ ^^^ years before the 
restoration of the exteriors, and as the destructive fury of this devastat- 
ing war has decreed that no man shall see them more. The drawing was 
done with pen and body-colour on blue paper ; and Mr. A. J. Finberg, 
whose knowledge of Turner's drawings is unrivalled, tells me that it is 
neither a sketch from nature nor a finished drawing, but an intermediate 
stage between the two, with probably underneath the drawing a rough 
pencil outline made on the spot, which Turner worked up afterwards 
with pen and body-colour. This was his usual method with drawings 
done on blue paper. If he liked the subject, or there was a prospect of 
selling it, he would, as a rule, draw it afresh and with more finish. This 
Louvain study, however, seems to have been carried no further, since 
there is no record of a finished drawing of the subject ; but in this study 
how vividly the master has felt those storied buildings, how nobly he 
has placed them upon his paper ! 

Now, here, on page 1 1, is a veritable bit of Constable, with the fresh 
impression of the natural scene writ convincingly upon it, and every 
touch of the lead pencil as if it had been steeped in light and air and 
verdure. It is a sketch Constable made in Wivenhoe Park, near Col- 
chester, whither he went in August 18 16, just before his marriage, to 
stay with General and Mrs. Rebow, and paint two landscapes to their 
order. " I am going on very well with my pictures for them," he wrote 
in a very happy letter to his ^ance'e. "The Park is the most forward. 
My great difficulty has been to get so much in it as they wanted. On 
my left is a grotto with some elms, at the head of a piece of water ; in 
the centre is the house over a beautiful wood ; and very far to the right 
is a deer house, which it was necessary to add, so that my view com- 
prehended too large a space. But to-day I have got over the difficulty, 
and begin to like it myself." I think he must have made this happy 
spacious sketch when he was getting over the difficulty. How simply 
and beautifully the master has felt and drawn the shapes of the land ! 
How true it all looks ! How alive that cornfield, with the vivid little 
group of labourers so rightly there ! And how that sky — a real Con- 
stable sky — gives the whole scene its truth of expression ! 
There was never a truer and more sympathetic pictorial interpreter of 
landscape than John Sell Cotman, never one who felt the aspects of 
nature with a more artistic sense of their rhythmic beauties, which, 
even in the simplest drawing, he would express with an ordination or 
design that seems innate in the subject. This controlling sense of 
rhythm is as inevitable in Cotman's lovably intimate glimpses of leafy 
woodland as in his transcripts of Gothic architecture, and here, in this 

4 



DRAWING 

beautiful pencil drawing of Cader Idris (p. 1 2), we feel it in the aspect 
of the everlasting hills. Here is no conventional mountain picturesque- 
ness, but, as the eye is carried rhythmically from the water in the fore- 
ground, where the cattle slowly follow round the curving line of the 
shallow edge, up along the contours of the hills, with the interflow of 
line and light and shade, the serene harmony of the scene evokes an 
artistic emotion peculiar to the satisfying sense of design. Without that 
cohesive rhythm Cader Idris might still look imposing, the cattle 
might still sun themselves at the water's edge — but the expressive 
beauty of the artist's poetry would be lacking. And the pictorial poetry 
of Cotman's drawing is a great thing. 

The splendid live draughtsmanship of Alfred Stevens, the great English 
sculptor and decorative designer, is exemplified by this study in red 
chalk (p. 1 3) for one of the angels in his cartoon of Isaiah for a spandrel 
under the Dome of St. Paul's. Stevens, who had in him much of the 
artistic spirit of the Renaissance, fully appreciated the charm of red 
chalk, or sanguine, for drawing the human figure, and every line he drew 
was instinct with life and significance. 

Rossetti had done his memorable illustrations for the Moxon "Tenny- 
son," and was in the fullness of his powers, with his pictorial imagina- 
tion at its height of romantic fervour and creative energy, when, in 1858, 
he made the very beautiful pen-and-ink drawing, Mary Magdalene at the 
Door of Simon the Pharisee, which we are privileged to reproduce (p. 1 5). 
This had, curiously, been long lost sight of, but, thanks to the happy 
chance of passing a shop window in Brompton just ten minutes before 
it would have been too late, Mr. Ricketts and Mr. Shannon were able 
to add it to their magnificent collection of drawings. And what a sump- 
tuous design it is ! how richly charged is its beauty of form and tone 
with emotional significance ! With what intensity and abundance of 
imagination has Rossetti interpreted those few lines in St. Luke ! It is 
a festival in the city, and at the head of a revelling crowd of young men 
and women, rose- wreathed and joyous, dancing along to the music of 
pipe and dulcimer, is the Magdalene, radiantly beautiful. But, passing 
the house of the Pharisee and catching sight of the face of Christ there 
sitting at meat, she mounts the steps to the doorway, and tears from her 
hair the flowers and symbols of vanity as all look on amazed, even the 
little beggar girl at her feet, while a lover and another "daughter of joy " 
try to bar her way to Christ. The technical execution of this drawing, 
so rich and varied in tone, so complex in detail, is amazing, recalling in 
that respect the splendid pen-and-ink Hamlet and Ophelia in the British 
Museum, done in the same year. Mr. Shannon tells me that Burne-Jones 
sat for the face of Christ, and Swinburne for one of the young men ; 
presumably, then, for the young man with the girls on the left. 
Burne-Jones, speaking of lead pencil, said : " It is always touch and go 

5 



DRAWING 

whether I can manage it even now. Sometimes knots will come in it, 
and I never can get them out — I mean little black specks. If I have 
once india-rubbered it, it doesn't make a good drawing. I look on a per- 
fectly successful drawing as one built upon a groundwork of clear lines 
till it is finished." Now, whether the great artist got any "knots" into 
the drawing of this 'Entombment (p. i6), certainly it was "built upon a 
groundwork of clear lines," and it has a pathetic dignity of expression. 
With splendid vital draughtsmanship, John Everett Millais had a genius 
for illustration. He could get at the very heart of a scene, and express 
its essential drama. The innumerable drawings he did for the wood- 
engravers of the 'sixties had a most inspiring influence on the con- 
temporary illustrative art, and that influence is alive to-day; for there 
was not only vital significance in every figure he drew, and in their re- 
lations to each other, but a natural ease of design that only great art 
could achieve. Not forgetting his splendid illustrations to Tennyson and 
Anthony Trollope, the high-water mark of his illustrative achieve- 
ment may be seen, perhaps, in " The Parables of Our Lord," a noble 
series of designs, of which one. The Parable of the Marriage Feast, is re- 
produced here (p. 17) from his pen-and-ink drawing, heightened with 
Chinese white, done on the wood-block — a beautiful expressive thing. 
Another great illustrator of that period, one of the greatest of any 
period or country, was Frederick Sandys. He is represented here (p. 
19), however, not as an illustrator, but as a graceful draughtsman of 
charming female heads, done delicately in chalk ; but his fame rests im- 
perishably on the superb designs he made upon the wood in ink with 
either the finest of sable brushes or a quill pen. These, published in the 
periodicals of the 'sixties, are instinct with illustrative genius, mag- 
nificent in design, and alive with dramatic feeling and artistic beauty. 
Had illustrative art been our theme, the remarkable and prolific George 
Cruikshank must have been represented here ; Hablot K. Browne also ; 
but great expressive draughtsmanship that happened to be used with 
illustrative purpose in the 'sixties would justly deserve further contem- 
porary examples, did our space allow. We should like to have repre- 
sented, of course, Fred Walker, Boyd Houghton, Holman Hunt, Ford 
Madox Brown, Arthur Hughes ; but here, at least, is George John 
Pinwell, one of the most delightful of them all, whose finest work is 
found, perhaps, in Jean Ingelow's " Poems " of i 867, and the Dalziels' 
" Goldsmith." This scene of rustic character, Gossips (p. 1 8), shows the 
pleasant naturalness of his art. Let us turn now for a moment to 
"Punch." Here is Sir John Tenniel, so long its prince of cartoonists, 
who shows, in the tragic pathos of Armenia's Appeal (p. 24), that 
graphic interpretation of international drama which often fluttered the 
dovecots of European politics. And here we see the jolly humour of 
John Leech (p. 21), conveying the scenic suggestion with a few 
6 



DRAWING 

vivacious sketchy strokes. What a contrast in pictorial manner, as in 
period, type, costume, do we find in this elegant drawing-room scene of 
George Du Maurier's (p. 23). A gracious live art was his, with often a 
straight arrow of satire for affectation and worldly folly ; but the draw- 
ing here tells nothing beyond the social standing and manners of these 
comfortable folk. The humour is not intrinsic, it is all in the written 
legend. Very different from Charles Keene's case. In the touch of that 
master-draughtsman and essential humorist was a magic that vitalized 
every line as his alert and original mind conceived it, so that all of the 
life and character and thought of the person drawn was there. One 
need not read the words interpreting the drawing, Classical I (p. 22), to 
realize the atmosphere of that barber's shop, and the trying situation of 
the impatient customer facing the sententious barber ! Keene's pen-and- 
ink drawing was a revelation of graphic wit. With this great art and 
wit of draughtsmanship Phil May's had strong afHnity, while it was as 
absolutely original as it was tender and genial. The life of the streets, 
which he knew so intimately, and observed, in all its variety of humour 
and personality, with so alert an eye for the incident of comic character, 
he depicted with an unfailing sense of the pictorial. With that spon- 
taneous effect of his drawing, so carefully achieved through his synthetic 
feeling for expressive line, he gave extraordinary vitality and individual 
interest to every loafer or gutter-snipe he put on paper. This street- 
vendor ol Sweet Lavender (p. 29) we recognize not only as a type, but 
as an individual. And this drawing has a specially sympathetic interest, 
for it records the friendship of two of the most human and lovable of men, 
whose missions through different arts were identical, to make the world 
happy with the good-fellowship of laughter. 

Mr. George Belcher (p. 41), like Phil May, is attracted by the in- 
genuous humours of the unsophisticated classes, and among the simple 
characters and the shrewd he finds personalities with the genuine pic- 
torial stuff in them. He draws in charcoal with a vivid sensitive touch 
and an unerring grasp of essentials. His expression of mentality is ex- 
traordinarily subtle and penetrating, and, like Keene and May, he sees 
in the trousers of the humble a world of character. 
How strange it is to turn from the human actualities of Mr. Belcher to 
the decorative fantasy of Aubrey Beardsley, with its artistic enchant- 
ment of rhythmic line and mass creating a life that never was on sea or 
land ! The Birthday of Madame Cigale (p. 25), this, one of the wonder- 
ful drawings with which The Studio, in its first number, twenty-four 
years ago, revealed the advent of an original young genius with some- 
thing really new to say in art, has all of the true Beardsley in it. For 
here the derivative Japanese influences are so fused with his self-ex- 
pression that, in the rhythmic working of his pictorial imagination, 
fantastic creatures become beautiful as they take their part in the de- 

7 



DRAWING 

sign, with this new significance of black-and-white, this fresh beauty of 
line. And how exquisite is the invention of all the detail in this in- 
triguing design, how artistic the broken quality of the black tones, 
which the young artist accepted as a precious gift from the Japanese, 
and later had reluctantly to yield up to the demand of the publishers for 
the definite full black of every respectable English drawing ! In none 
of the best of his wonderful later drawings did Beardsley surpass the 
quality of this early expression of his genius. 

The joy of beautiful decoration, too, is the creative spirit of this lovely 
Eve design of Walter Crane's (p. 26), so rich in its elaboration of natural 
detail — a iour de force of the artist's pen. And rich penmanship, with 
rhythmic design, distinguishes this Lady Flora of Tennyson's poem, 
" The Day-Dream," by that splendid illustrator and fine draughtsman, 
Mr. E. J. Sullivan (p. 33), happy always in poetry and romance, but 
greatest, perhaps, when interpreting the irony of Carlyle. 
In the simple study that represents the sensitive draughtsmanship of 
that remarkable artist, Mr. Walter Sickert, the lady actually lives in the 
atmosphere of the room (p. 30) ; while in Mr. George Clausen's chalk 
study for his lovely picture, Primavera (p. 27), the exquisite modelling 
is what we might expect from so complete an artist. 
As I speak, in the "Etching and Dry-point" section, of the masterly 
draughtsmanship of Mr. Frank Brangwyn, Mr. Muirhead Bone and 
Mr. D. Y. Cameron, it is only necessary here to point out that in The 
Builders (p. 3 i). Near the Pump-Room, Bath (p. 34), and Balquhidder (p. 
37), we have drawings thoroughly characteristic of these three distin- 
guished artists. The simple expressiveness of Mr. Cameron's landscape 
is wonderful. 

In The Bather (p. 35) we have the charm of Mr. Orpen, his beautiful 
drawing, his sensitiveness to light, his originality in the arrangement of 
his pictorial interest. This is a delicate piece of pencil work with tones 
of wash. Unfortunately the superb drawing of Mr. Augustus John is not 
represented here. At his best there is no greater draughtsman. This 
sprightly C/^/Vo/(p. 38) is one of that remarkable series of " Characters of 
Romance " which Mr. William Nicholson drew with such a vivid sense 
of characterization and so wide a range of romantic imagination. Lieut. 
James McBey's spontaneous expression in vivacious drawing is happily 
shown in this live sketch of The Violin-Player (p. 42). That girl is really 
playing her instrument, and musically too, one feels. The young artist 
who made this magnificent study in sanguine of these two heads (p. 39) 
is Lieut. Ernest A. Cole, the sculptor of the superb marble statue of 
John the Baptist which Mr. Edmund Davis prizes as one of the gems 
of his collection. Happily London will later on be able to see his 
work, for he has been selected to do all the sculpture for the new County 
Council Hall. As a draughtsman he is simply great. 
8 



DRAWING 




Pkfto. Maiisell 



[Fi om the ili'tiK'infi in the Cnllection of 
the late Mr^ H J. P/iiiiist. F.S.A.) 



■ MRS. SIDDONS.' 
GAINSBOROUGH 



BY THOMAS 

R.A. (CHALK) 



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{From the drawing in the fosscssicn 
of Mr. Charles H. Shaiirwii. A.R.A. 
and Mr. Charles Rickdts) 



MARY MAGDALENE AT THE DOOR 
OF SIMON THE PHARISEE.' BY 
D. G. ROSSETTI (pen-and-ink) 

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'THE ENTOMBMENT." BY SIR EDWARD 
BURNE-JONES, BART, (lead pencil and chalk) 

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(From the drttwiitfi ii/( k'lV(/ in 
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STUDY FOR ■■ PRIMAVERA." BY 
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{From the drawing in the possession of Mrs. 
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'SWEET LAVENDER." BY PHIL MAY (PEN-ANO-rNK) 

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STUDY. BY WALTER SICKERT 

(PEN-AND-INK AND CHALK) 
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of The Carfax Gallnry) 



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'THE BUILDERS." BY FRANK BRANGWYN 
A.R.A , P.R.B.A, (CHALK) 



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LADY FLORA" (tennysons "day dream"). BY 
EDMUND J. SULLIVAN, A.R.W.S. (pen-and ink) 

33 



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'■ NEAR THE PUMP-ROOM, BATH ' 
BY MUIRHEAD BONE (lead pencilI 

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'CHICOT." BY WILLIAM NICHOLSON 

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{From " Characters of Romance.^' Hy 
Win. Nicholson London: Heinemanu) 



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(From //ic drawing in the fiossfssioti 
of Mr. Charles H. Shannon. A.R..4.. 
anti Mr. Charles Rickells) 



STUDY OF HEADS. BY 
ERNEST A. COLE (sanguine) 

39 



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ViUa'AC Worthy (disciissinii possibility of imas ton) : 
" Well there am't be no battle in these paits. 
Jarge./or there beant no field suitable, as 
you may say : an' squire 'e won't tend em 
the use of his park." 
BY GEORGE BELCHER (chalk and wash) 

41 



DRAWING 











"THE VIOLIN-PLAYEP. ■ BY 
JAMES McBEY PE>.'-A-iD-irjK) 

42 



IFrom the ilnufiiii in the pass ssi.'n 
of MtSi Phyllis Allen) 



LINE-ENGRAVING 

A LTHOUGH the art of line-engraving flourished long and ex- 
i\ tensively in this country, its object was generally interpre- 
/ \ tative or reproductive ; as a means of original expression its 
^ ^ practice has been rare. Certain English engravers have used 
the graven line for translating their ovv^n drawings or paintings to the 
copper, so, in a sense, their engraving has been original ; but that is not 
the same thing as conceiving a design in terms of engraving, and prac- 
tically creating the picture upon the copper, as one may suppose Diirer 
and the early painter-engravers of Germany and Italy to have done, and 
later our own Blake and Calvert. 

When copper-plate engraving found its way belatedly into England 
about the middle of the sixteenth century there was no native pictorial 
art to give it the welcome of expressive practice. But, though the 
creative artist was not here to use the graven line, as he had done to such 
wonderful and beautiful purpose in Italy, Germany, and Flanders, the 
" spacious times of great Elizabeth " stimulated graphic activities which 
found use for the graver ; especially in maps, which were seldom with- 
out some embellishment of pictorial fancy. While, however, it was 
long before the graphic expression of artistic imagination concerned 
any English engraver, the portraiture of notable personalities gradually 
called into being in this country a school of engravers of both foreign 
and native birth. This portraiture was mainly derivative, but in the 
manner ofits treatment upon the copper-plate the engravers, the earliest 
of whom were goldsmiths, found scope for decorative invention or for 
ingenious adaptation of ornamental patterns borrowed from the gold- 
smith's craft. Another field for the ingenuity of the early English 
engravers was the ornate title-page which nearly every book seemed to 
demand in the first half of the seventeenth century. Curiously interest- 
ing many of these are in their graphic fertility of symbol and ornament, 
although harmonious beauty of design is rare to seek. 
It is, however, to the portrait-engravers that one must look for the 
most graphic handling of the burin. Flemish influences were para- 
mount, but English engraving may be said to date from the work of 
William Rogers. He was the first English-born engraver of import- 
ance. A goldsmith, he readily found his way with the copper-plate, 
and showed artistic individuality in his treatment of portraiture. 
Especially is this evident in his three prints of Elizabeth, the earliest 
of which was the E/iza Triump/ians, of 1589, commemorating the 
Armada victory ; for, though we may suppose him to have based the 
actual portraiture of the Queen on drawings or paintings by other 
hands, the decorative environment of the figure suggests the engraver's 
original fancy. The notable plate shown on page 47 is certainly the 
most important and accomplished English engraving of the period, and 
though it may owe Elizabeth's features to the limning of Isaac Oliver, 

43 



LINE-ENGRAVING 
or perhaps to some earlier and more intimate sketch which Oliver had 
also used, the elaborate pictorial setting, engraved w^ith fine and sure 
craftsmanship, is undoubtedly the invention and work of Rogers him- 
self. But not only the craftsman does the engraver show himself here ; 
the sense of the artist seems to me evident in the introduction of the 
window, to flood the throne-room with sunlight as the queen stands 
there, gorgeous in all her monstrous apparel of state. Artistic impulse 
had little or nothing to do with the busy craftsmanship of Cockson, 
Elstrack, Hole, and Delaram, or even of Simon and William Van de 
Passe, though these two brought from their famous father's work- 
room in Utrecht, to stimulate the art of portrait-engraving in England, 
the influence of their Dutch training and tradition. Yet Simon, in his 
equestrian portrait of Anne of Denmark, drawn from life, designed 
quite a respectable landscape background ; while his brother William's 
original portraiture is seen characteristically in the posturing group of 
James I and Charles, Prince of Wales. 

With William Faithorne and George Glover, pupils of John Payne, 
himself a disciple of the Van de Passes, English engraving reached a 
higher artistic standard. Glover promised great things, but he quickly 
disappeared. Faithorne was the one seventeenth-century engraver of 
English birth who can be reckoned with the masters of portrait-en- 
graving. He had done some admirable interpretative plates, from the 
paintings of Van Dyck, Dobson, and Walker, during the later years of 
Charles I, albeit for a time the Roundheads' prisoner of war ; but Crom- 
well wisely released him to go to Paris, and there he learnt the master's 
touch from the great Nanteuil, returning to England himself a 
master. That he had a high ideal of his craft may be read in his own 
words, written in 1 662 : " The result of air, the symmetry of parts, the 
exact harmony of proportions, of lights and shadows, may be performed 
to the height in graving." While studying with Nanteuil in Paris, 
Faithorne had enjoyed the friendship of that famous print-collector, 
the Abbe de Marolles, in whose countless portfolios were practically all 
the masterpieces of engraving and etching ; so that Faithorne would 
have seen with what expressive significance of line the graver could 
plough the copper when guided by the artistic imagination and crafts- 
manship of a Diirer, a Schongauer, a Mantegna, a Lucas Van Leyden, 
a Marcantonio, a Jacopo de' Barbari, or a Giulio Campagnola. But 
creative art was not Faithorne's to command, nor, indeed, was there 
then any demand for it at the hands of the line-engraver. The etching- 
needle and dry-point had become the instruments of the painter who 
felt the call of the copper for more spontaneous expression, and de 
Marolles must have shown the English engraver his Rembrandts as 
well as his Diirers. Yet the etching-needle made no appeal to him ex- 
cept as an accessory to his graver, though he used it artistically for the 

44 



LINE-ENGRAVING 

elaborate landscape background in his portrait of Henry More, the 
Platonic poet. Faithorne, however, was faithful to his burin, and when 
he drew his chalk portraits from life it was always with the graven 
line in view ; and their vitality, such, for instance, as in the Sir Robert 
Henley (p. 48), suggests that the copper might have taken the en- 
graver's vivid impression direct. Every line seems to have life, so free 
is the engraving from that sense of mechanical labour we feel in much 
of the later reproductive engraving with its rules and conventions. 
When, however, Faithorne interpreted the portrait-painting of Lely and 
others, as the time and its fashions demanded, he would, as Pepys tells 
us, make an intermediary drawing in chalks, and his conception and 
handling of this upon the copper give the impression of original en- 
graving. Like Faithorne, David Loggan and his prolific pupil, Robert 
White, were faithful to line-engraving for original portraiture, despite 
the lure of the new and more facile method of mezzotint. Both were 
interesting historically rather than artistically, but Loggan's engraving 
was certainly more vivid in his portrait-prints than in the two works 
for which he is chiefly memorable, the " Oxonia lUustrata," and 
" Cantabrigia Illustrata," in which, with academical accuracy of pre- 
sentment, but without pictorial expression, he conscientiously depicted 
the university buildings with their denizens in cap and gown. 
The eighteenth century saw English line-engraving again healthily 
influenced by the contemporary French school, which, stimulated by 
the art of Watteau and Chardin, had elaborated a technique for the in- 
terpretation of painting, richer in effect if more complex in convention. 
The English engravers of the period were, almost without exception, 
interpreters ; but among them were three whose accomplishment as 
such was so distinguished as to win them European fame : Sir Robert 
Strange, William WooUett, and William Sharp. Yet a more original 
artist was J. K. Sherwin, with a vivid grace of portraiture, and a flexible 
skill with graver and needle, as shown in his portrait of Woollett (p. 49) . 
When Charles Lamb, in praise of William Hogarth, said "Other pic- 
tures we look at ; his prints we read," he was thinking, of course, of the 
graphic moralist and satirist, and unintentionally he did an injustice to 
the artist. Yet artist was Hogarth innately ; and so great, so original, 
was his graphic expression, that we are compelled to look at his prints 
as pictures, whatever their subjects, by the masterly art with which he 
wrought his pictorial schemes, with all their human significance and 
fecundity of incidental invention, into harmonious and vital designs. A 
typical example is the plate of The Rakes Progress (p. 50), in which 
the Rake is seen surrounded by his parasites, differentiated in scenic 
action, with a vivid sense of contemporary type. Here is not great en- 
graving, perhaps ; the lines not being inherently expressive, one cannot 
call it creative engraving in the sense that Durer's was ; but Hogarth 

45 



LINE-ENGRAVING 

used the resources of the craft with artistic command for the interpre- 
tation of his graphic expression, always with the effect of pictorial 
vitality. 

Of a far different and more interesting technique are the original en- 
gravings of William Blake. This great imaginative artist had hitherto 
been obliged to practise reproductive engraving in the conventional 
manner of his day ; but when he came to engrave his own remarkable 
designs, his genius found its individual utterance with a significance of 
line that English engraving had never known. The creative art with 
which Blake gave pictorial form to his wonderfully beautiful concep- 
tions inspired by the "Book of Job," called his graver to imaginative 
response upon the copper. With the artistic purity of its lineal expres- 
sion it helped the uplifting beauty of the designs. Of these veritable 
masterpieces of original engraving, perhaps the most generally appeal- 
ing is " When the Morning Stars sang together, and all the Sons of God 
shouted for joy "(p. 51). Edward Calvert's engraving differed strangely 
from Blake's ; it was distinctly original, though inspired by the spiritu- 
ality of the master's art. In The Bride (p. 52), for example, spiritual 
emotion happily informs the sensuous beauty of design, in which light 
plays an essential part. But such engraving as this was not for the people. 
It was the day of the reproductive engraver, and the genius of Turner 
had influenced an entirely fresh development of the conventions of line- 
engraving. A complete reproduction of the original drawing was 
formally etched in full tone upon the plate, and the graver was used 
only to add luminosity with greater depth and contrast of line. Through 
other hands, but with his own directing intelligence. Turner used this 
medium for the interpretation of his art, and so organized and discip- 
lined a whole school of accomplished engravers absolutely responsive 
to his pictorial expression. In fact, a plate directed and corrected by the 
master through all its stages, like this beautiful Poole (p. 53), of the 
"Southern Coast" series (18 14), one thinks of as essentially a "Turner 
engraving," almost forgetting George Cooke, the actual engraver. 
Reproductive line-engraving, however, has had its day, and there is 
reason to hope that the original artist may express himself once more 
through the beautiful art that Durer used with such expressive freedom. 
As Mr. J. F. Badeley, whose noble design, Lucifer (p. 54), was en- 
graved with such distinction in pure line, has said to me : " Line-en- 
graving is not laborious when you know what you are doing, and can 
appreciate the value of each line you cut." But the charm of original 
expression was what the accomplished Mr. Badeley had in mind, which 
is a very different thing from the two years' labour, such as Woollett, 
for instance, was wont to expend upon one of his great reproductive 
plates after Claude, Wilson, or Benjamin West. 

. 46 



LINE-ENGRAVING 







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"QUEEN ELIZABETH" 
BY WILLIAM ROGERS 



47 



LINE-ENGRAVING 




"SIR ROBERT HENLEY' 
BY WILLIAM FAITHORNE 



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LINE-ENGRAVING 




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•WILLIAM WOOLLETT' 
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"LUCIFER. • BY J. F. BADELEY, RE. 

54 



ETCHING AND DRY-POINT 

LINE-ENGRAVING was the only medium of the copper-plate 
known in England when, in 1637, Wenceslaus Hollar, the 
young Bohemian artist, brought his etching-needles and acids 
^ to the Earl of Arundel's great house on the London Strand. It 
was from Frankfort — not from Amsterdam, the birthplace of the great 
tradition of etching— that he brought the art. In Frankfort, among 
the topographical school of etchers, the tradition was to aim at the pre- 
cise effect of the graven line with the quicker and more facile means of 
the needle and mordant ; whereas the genius of Rembrandt had already 
given a fresh vitality to the art of the painter-etcher with the free ex- 
pressive line natural to its own pictorial utterance. Hollar's etching, 
with all its dainty dexterity and charm, and all its variety and range of 
accomplishment, never lost a certain precision of line and "tightness" 
of plan which he derived from the topographical engraving tradition ; 
but it suited his pictorial conception, since graphic accuracy was the 
very essence of his industry upon the copper. Whatever his subject- 
matter — the town or country view, contemporary costume, portraiture, 
even a group of muffs and gloves — it was always the exact representation 
of fact, with the true etcher's joy in his craft, that was his graphic 
motive, rather than any personal expression of artistic emotion or pic- 
torial poetry. His vision was essentially unimaginative. For him no 
mystery was ever upon the Thames, the buildings of London never lost 
themselves enchantingly in the dim sky ; but, happily for the student 
and historian, they preserved their aspect of actuality on Hollar's plates. 
Yet here, in this attractive print oi Albury (p. 63), a typical Enghsh 
scene of the seventeenth century, with my lord's coach and its out- 
riders lumbering along toward the old mansion, light, with its hint of 
approaching sunset, has given to the etcher its suggestions of pictorial 
charm. 

Although Hollar etched in this country voluminously for forty years, 
save for a short absence compelled by the Civil War, the art took no 
root here in the seventeenth century, fruitful as it was on the Continent, 
while in the following century the reproductive engraver almost every- 
where ruled out the original artist upon the copper. The painter-etcher 
was rare anywhere in the eighteenth century ; in England he had prac- 
tically no existence. Hogarth etched a few portraits from life ; Gains- 
borough seems to have amused himself occasionally with soft-ground 
etching ; Rowlandson's needle was prolific in its vigour, but the charm 
of etching was not its object. A great deal of engraver's etching was 
done as a basis of design for other mediums to complete. The bitten 
line was never used at that time for the sake of its own special qualities 
of pictorial suggestion, although Rembrandt's etchings were beginning 
to find in this country both collectors and copyists. With the nine- 
teenth century came a change, and its earlier years showed a limited 
revival of interest in etching as an expressive art. 

SS 



ETCHING AND DRY-POINT 

That Girtin might have been a great painter-etch'er had he chosen, one 
may presume from the remarkably suggestive use he made of the etched 
Hne for defining the pictorial structure of his " Picturesque Views in 
Paris and its Environs," completed in aquatint by Lewis and Stadler. 
This comprehensive method of structural etching was used also with 
masterly art by Turner on his "Liber Studiorum" plates ; but the soft- 
ground etching of the exquisite Calm, suggesting in the first beautiful 
conception upon the copper all the pictorial significance of light, air, and 
space, proved how completely expressive a medium etching could be in 
this master's hands. Yet evidently it did not content him, for he printed 
but a single proof of this masterpiece, and then added aquatint tones, 
and subsequently mezzotint. 

John Crome was the earliest of the interesting little group of British 
painters — three of Norfolk and two of Scotland — who, in the early de- 
cades of the nineteenth century, each with his individual feeling for the 
medium, turned to the delightful art of etching for its own sake, and 
sought in their pictorial conceptions the true etcher's motive. How 
Crome, with sensitive drawing and delicate " biting," gave graphic life 
to his visions of copse, woodland, or spacious heath ; how John Sell 
Cotman, with a virile use of soft-ground, made trees with their sturdy 
grace of growth, or the old castle on its rocky base, come with vital 
structural significance into the noble designs of his etchings ; how the 
Rev. E. T. Daniell could etch a characteristic Norfolk landscape with 
an expressive charm that in seventeenth-century Holland would have 
won him a great repute ; how Andrew Geddes drew with masterly dry- 
point, portrait and landscape, and showed a fresh reading of the great 
tradition ; and how David Wilkie achieved, also with the dry-point, 
one or two little masterpieces oi genre upon the copper-plate ; all this 
I have already told and illustrated in another Studio Special Number — 
"The Great Painter-Etchers, from Rembrandt to Whistler." The 
movement was of great artistic interest, and promised to develop an 
important school of British etchers ; but it came to a standstill for lack 
of encouragement. The brilliant Bonington etched to a limited extent 
in soft-ground, and left at his death, in 1828, an all-but-finished plate 
in hard line, Bologna, reproduced here, which was completed with a few 
lines of shadow by his friend, J. Shotter Boys, the lithographic artist. 
After this, until the advent of James McNeill Whistler and Francis 
Seymour Haden, there was no original etching of importance in Eng- 
land, except, perhaps, Samuel Palmer's, which aimed at pictorial 
romance with rich chiaroscuro effect obtained by tonal etching in multi- 
tudinous line. The essays of a group of painters who formed the Etch- 
ing Club achieved little of real distinction, C. W. Cope-getting nearest 
to the innate etcher's expression. 

The remarkable efflorescence of painter-etching in Great Britain began 
56 



ETCHING AND DRY-POINT 

with Whistler and Haden, and while the masterful original genius of 
Whistler brought new ways of vision, expression, and suggestion to 
enrich the traditions of the art, Haden exercised also a vital influence, 
and one more popularly persuasive, with his own virile practice as well 
as learned precept in the great tradition. A masterly etcher of landscape, 
Haden would take his copper-plate with his needle or dry-point out of 
doors and draw his subject direct from nature with that breadth, free- 
dom, and spontaneity of effect, which, while suggesting a sketch, 
represented a true etcher's drawing, being really the artistic result of con- 
centration of pictorial vision with an instinctive selection of the sugges- 
tive line, and that reticence of expression which is the very essence of 
etching's charm. Loving the intimacies of nature, Haden delighted 
particularly in parks, meadows, and river-banks where trees and reeds 
grow luxuriantly, and his line would revel in wavy reflections upon the 
waters of river, stream, or pond, as in the charming Brentford Ferry 
(p. 65), or the lovely Sunset in Ireland, or his own favourite Water- 
Meadow. On a simple English hill-side, or where a little boat-house 
stands on the bank of a quiet stream, Haden's dry-point would discover 
the pictorial sentiment of light and shadow as surely as Meryon's needle 
would find it lurking in a Paris Rue des Mauvais Garcons. The country- 
side, whatever sky was above it, cloudy or sunny, had always its happy 
appeal for Haden ; but he could gaze from his study window across 
London and stamp his personality on the etching of his vision; he could 
find the motive of a masterpiece in the breaking-up of an old man-of- 
war upon the Thames down Greenwich way, or in a busy bit of 
Whistler's Old Chelsea and its river. 

I call it Whistler's Old Chelsea, for there, beside the river, in the early 
years of his London life he dwelt, painting and etching masterpieces. 
But it was " down river," down Limehouse and Wapping way, that he 
wrought those wonderful etchings known familiarly as the "Thames 
Set," which, together with The Kitchen, La Vieille aux Loques, and others 
of the already masterly things done earlier in France, proved a new reve- 
lation of the artistic possibilities of etching. Here in Black Lion Wharf, 
Rotherhithe, Limehouse, Thames Police, Thames Warehouses, and so on, was 
an extraordinary freshness and alertness of vision applied to the common- 
places of London river-life and its activities, and concentrated within 
pictorial conditions of an amazing comprehensiveness and originality ; 
here was drawing of expressive vitality with the authentic line of a 
master-etcher, a line in the tradition of Rembrandt, but with a new 
artistic significance. This Hne we see suggestively alert in the casual 
group of Longshoremen (p. 66) sitting in a Thames-side inn. How won- 
derfully alive and characteristic the scene is, with the personalities com- 
pletely individualized and localized ! The vivid eyes and speaking 
mouth of the man in the centre focus the interest, a piece of sensitive 

SI 



ETCHING AND DRY-POINT 

portraiture, done with the searching vision that selects just the inevit- 
able scratches of the needle. 

Original master as Whistler revealed himself already in these Thames 
etchings, it w^as in the wonderful plates of the two Venice sets that he 
showed a further and still more personal development of his art upon the 
copper, differing from all that had ever gone before in the achievement 
of etching, and positively magical in its creation of beauty. Here was 
carried out,with consummate artistic economy, the principle of starting 
a design from its central pictorial interest, and building it up with the 
most careful selection of essential detail. Not only in the expressive 
witchery of line, but in the amazing mastery of suggestion through the 
unfilled space, these etchings, with their absolute originality of concep- 
tion, their quintessential art, and lyricism of impression, proved an 
artistic revelation, which, of course, produced at first bewilderment and 
misunderstanding among all but the comprehending few. Nobody had 
ever before pictured Venice, or, for that matter, any place in the world, 
in such wise ; yet here, in these exquisite visions of the lagoons and 
backwaters of Venice, its humble byways and stately palaces, with en- 
chantment in shine and shadow, was, for those who had pictorial 
imagination, a new entrancing beauty. Gradually this asserted its 
irresistible influence, which widened when later the master went to 
Amsterdam, and etched also its canals and curious corners with com- 
pelling beauty and artistic splendour. It was the spirit of place that 
found its way on to Whistler's copper-plates, and so the modern etcher 
got from him a new heritage of vision. 

Another important influence on British etching has been the art and 
teaching of Alphonse Legros. Coming from Paris to London in 1866, 
he brought with him a masterly equipment, and for some twenty years 
his instructive example proved a fruitful inspiration, first at South 
Kensington and then at the Slade School. His etching career of over 
half a century produced some seven hundred plates, none of which was 
below a high artistic standard, while in the majority one is impressed 
by the vision of a graphic poet of serious mind, who has realized his 
pictorial motive — whether light on landscape, the drama of human 
circumstance, or character in portraiture — with the imagination of a 
sincere artist, and expressed it with the synthetic simplicity of a genuine 
etcher's eloquence, always with a sense of beauty and of style. Who can 
forget La Mart du 'Vagabond, with its elemental tragedy, or the grim 
pathos o( Les Chantres Espagnols, the noble portraiture of G. F. Watts 
and Cardinal Manning, or those delightful landscapes, LePre Ensoleille, 
Pres d' Amiens — Les Tourbieres, Repos au hard de la Riviere, Le Miv du 
Preshytere, Le Canal} And how simple in motive this Maison du Charron 
(p. 67), yet, with its " informing expression of passing light," how full 
of charm ! 

58 



ETCHING AND DRY-POINT 

Two of the most distinguished personaHties among the etchers of to- 
day are Mr. William Strang and Sir Charles Holroyd, and both learnt 
their art from Legros. A versatile and instinctive craftsman, Mr. 
Strang's imaginative temperament has found with the etching-needle 
and dry-point its most characteristic expression. Extremely prolific, 
always pictorially inventive, with an alert illustrative faculty, and an 
innate feeling for design, he has been concerned with all sorts of sub- 
jects, sometimes of literary inspiration, the grotesque, the grim and un- 
canny, the homely and tenderly human, the nobly ideal, the Biblical, 
the charm and interest of place. No distinctively personal style is his, 
perhaps, except in his portraiture ; then he is unmistakably himself — 
a master. Sir Charles Holroyd's etchings are permeated by a sense of 
classic style. He seems always conscious of artistic dignity in presence 
of his subject, and controls his emotional expression with the decorative 
dictates of harmonious design. Beauty he has achieved in many a dis- 
tinguished plate ; impressive he always is, but the intimate personal 
charm of etching eludes him, except, perhaps, when his subject is land- 
scape where trees luxuriate. 

Low Tide and the Evening Star, and Rye's Long Pier Deserted, Sir Frank 
Short's masterpiece (p. 68), is indisputably one of the classics of the 
art ; for here is a pictorial conception in which twilight, being the 
emotional factor, makes the most subtle demands of expression upon 
the etcher's resources of line and tone, and the master has responded 
with an artistic reticence exquisitely suggestive, and a craftsmanship 
commandingly sensitive. Not a touch of the needle is here that is not 
essential to the pictorial impression ; yet in these long rhythmic lines, 
with their delicate variations of tone, in these untouched spaces which 
assume, as it were, tones from the lines that shape them, what a wealth 
of visual suggestion ! The old stones of the pier, that have stood in their 
solid strength against storm and tide, are sharing the gentle charm of 
evening with the quiet waters and wet sandy shore ; while, like the 
London houses in Wordsworth's Sonnet, the very masts, hulls, and sheds 
of the little port seem asleep. In this beautiful plate, and many another 
distinguished by the same freshness, breadth, and clarity of vision, 
poetic conception, and masterly command of the copper, as well with 
the rich direct line of the dry-point as with the clean bitten line. Sir 
Frank Short has revealed his individuality of pictorial suggestion. But 
it is in his authoritative loyalty to the technical tradition of the masters 
that this worthy successor to Sir Francis Seymour Haden, as President 
of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers, has exercised so 
wide and salutary an influence in his practice and his teaching. 
Mr. D. Y. Cameron's imaginative vision has found its artistic motives 
chiefly in vivid contrasts of strange, glowing lights and solemn, brood- 
ing shadows that cast a glamour of romance over impressive buildings 

59 



ETCHING AND DRY-POINT 

mellowed by the centuries, or discover the secrets of poetic beauty in 
solitudes of loch and mountain. Wherever his art ranges for subject — 
France, Italy, Belgium, Egypt, London, Scotland — always it com- 
mands, with a distinctively personal style, pictural harmonies of an 
expressive charm. Whether his needle or dry-point is concerned with 
the work of man or nature, the emotional impulse of his vision finds 
ever a poetic dignity of utterance in finely balanced design. In his 
achievement there are plates which, expressing in authentic accents of 
light and shade and form the very spirit and essence of the subject, give 
him right of rank with the masters ; plates such as the famous Five 
Sisters of York, St.Laumer — Blois, and this beautiful dry-point, Strathearn 
(p. 69), which shows his latest mood upon the copper. In this Mr, 
Cameron, with the comprehensive vision of a great landscape etcher, 
and a suggestive draughtsmanship of searching simplicity, interprets 
the calm, expansive beauty of this characteristically Scottish scene. 
One thinks always of Mr. Muirhead Bone, first, as the draughtsman 
par excellence of the modern building, pre-eminently in its aspect of con- 
struction or demolition, with the living interest of human circumstance; 
but there are masterly plates, such as Ayr Prison, Rye from Camber, and 
The South Coast, and others of charm, to remind us that before he went 
to Italy his art engaged his dry-point happily with landscape. In this 
beautiful Orvieto (p. 70), the design holds the eye with the buildings on 
the top and at the base of the high cliff, and with the details of human 
activities, the busy workers and the unyoked oxen, before it travels be- 
tween the trees down the sloping road, and away over the sunny expanse 
of country to the distant mountains. This magnetic power over the 
visual interest is one of the secrets of Mr. Bone's graphic genius. It is 
active not more or less in this serene Italian scene than in that impressive 
night piece, St. Johns JVood,-w{th a great railway in the making ; or that 
characteristic record of vanishing London, Clare Market ; or that fine 
plate. The Shot Tower, where one's interested vision is carried across the 
Thames and over the houses that stretch away from Waterloo Bridge. 
Compellingly this power works in those wonderful plates. The Great 
Gantry, Building, and Demolition of St. James's Hall — Interior, leading the 
eye through a stupendous wilderness of scaffolding and structure, the 
intricacies of which, with the workmen seen at their strenuous tasks, 
Mr. Bone's great draughtsmanship has commanded to an artistic im- 
pression of pictorial unity and vitality. However it may defy accepted 
tradition of manner or method, the genius of Mr. Frank Brangwyn has 
a habit of justifying its artistic independence by achievement quick 
with the vital spirit of art. Maybe his imaginative energy of design, 
conceiving decoratively in vigorous line and massive emphasis of 
light and shade, would hardly be satisfied by the traditional virtues 
of the etcher's art, or restrained by its limitations, as these are held 
60 



ETCHING AND DRY-POINT 

in sacred trust by the President of the Royal Society of Painter- 
Etchers. 

Mr. Brangwyn's range of subject is exceedingly wide ; everything 
interests him that represents the energies of man, and offers material for 
decorative design. Building, of course, pre-eminently, building of every 
kind; the great arched railway station, as well as the mediaeval church; 
the building in wonderful process of construction, equally with that in 
tragic ruin; bridges of every clime, time, and character. With an un- 
erring eye for the salient features of architecture he brings them, surely 
and vitally drawn, and under the control of his decorative sense, as 
inevitably into his pictorial scheme as the groups of people that occur 
so naturally in the foreground. The Church of St. Peter s of the Exchange, 
Genoa (p. 71), is a characteristic example, with the sacred edifice so 
curiously located, and the priestly procession and the vivid crowd as 
essential details of the design. And here, on this copper-plate, though 
he may in printing have forced the accents of his chiaroscuro, Mr. 
Brangwyn has achieved impressiveness with a genuine etcher's interest. 
Design with decorative purpose was the motive, too, of the late Sir 
Alfred East's landscape etchings. In these, with the simpler means of 
intentionally coarse line on zinc plates, he aimed at the romantic ex- 
pression of his painting, and generally attained it. A Glade in the Cots- 
•wolds (p. 73), one of his happiest efforts, has the charm of the painter's 
temperament rather than the etcher's, but all the verve of the fine 
draughtsman. Landscape etching of a very different conception, done 
with joy in the delicate response of the acid to the needle's point, is that 
of Mr. Fred Burridge, Colonel Goff, Mr. Oliver Hall, Mr. Percy 
Robertson, Mr. Martin Hardie, Miss Constance Pott, Miss Hester 
Frood, and the Hon. Walter James, alert and sensitive artists all, each 
with an engaging individuality of vision. Landscape Mr. C. J. Watson 
can also etch with charm ; but his most inspiring subject-matter is 
Gothic architecture. This he draws with intimate delight in every 
detail that helps the decorative unity of his pictorial impression. Several 
finely etched church fa9ades stand to his credit ; but his needle can never 
have revelled more delicately than among the elegant curves, lines, and 
ornaments of this Interior of St. Etie?ine-du-Mont, Paris (p. 72). 
Among British etchers Mr. Robert Spence stands by himself, an artist of 
curious originality, with an achievement, in his masterly series of plates 
illustrating the "Journal of George Fox," which is practically unique. 
His imaginative vision is always convincingly alert amid characters and 
scenes of olden times, vivifying with true graphic genius their human 
significance. So here in Les Lunettes de Francois Villon (p. 79) he inter- 
prets in rich dry-point that passage of the vagabond poet's " Testament," 
in which he cynically bequeaths his big spectacles to the hospital of 
the blind paupers, so that they shall go into the cemetery and dis- 

61 



ETCHING AND DRY-POINT 

tinguish between the good and bad folk that lie there in the equality 
of death. 

It is dry-point that Mr. Francis Dodd uses with such sensitive art and 
vital draughtsmanship in his masterly portraiture; and the same medium 
Lieut. W. Lee Hankey handles with increasing freedom and charm in 
his sympathetic studies of womanhood among the French and Belgian 
peasantry. In The Shepherdess (p. 75), a plate of impressive beauty, his 
dry-point has achieved rich massive tone. For the suggestion of tone 
Mr. Nelson Dawson has been attracted, happily, to soft-ground etch- 
ing, a beautiful medium too rarely used nowadays for its own special 
virtues. He finds its softer line peculiarly responsive to the sketchy im- 
pression of sea or lagoon with craft moving through the waters, as seen 
in the spirited little plate, On the North Lagoon (p. 76). 
This delightfully sunny and spacious prospect of Ely (p. 77), brings 
before us the masterly etching of Lieut. James McBey. It has all the 
charming originality of conception and delicate vivacity of state- 
ment, with that indefinable authenticity of genius, which, in a suc- 
cession of plates, avidly sought and cherished by the collectors, have 
won him an assured and distinctive place among the masters of the 
copper-plate. Mr. E. S. Lumsden, another of our most gifted and in- 
dividual etchers, has heard the call of the Far East, and taken thither a 
vision peculiarly sensitive to the subtleties of sunlight, and an art re- 
sponsive with exquisite suggestion. The Umbrella (p. 78) is a charac- 
teristic scene in Benares that has given the artist a happy subject for his 
delicate needle. The landscapes of England and of Holland have engaged 
the charm of Mr. W. P. Robins's art upon the copper ; but, give him 
sunlight on a stream or canal, wherever it may be, that has gracious 
trees on its banks arching it with leafy branches, and he will find a pic- 
torial motive in which his needle or dry-point will revel according to 
the suggestions of tone. Here in this tenderly beautiful plate. The 
Brook (p. 81), the harmonies of shine and shadow have called for the 
sympathetic bur of the dry-point. Mr. Malcolm Osborne, an etcher of 
fast advancing accomplishment, is represented here by a piece of land- 
scape etching of quite masterly quality — Bannockburn and Stirling 
Castle (p. 82). There are, of course, several other notable personalities 
expressing themselves through etching with interesting art; Mr. Walter 
Sickert, who found new motives in old music-halls ; Mr. William 
Walcot, curiously impressive in his imaginative treatment of classic 
architecture; Mr. George Clausen, Mr. Augustus John, Mr. Mortimer 
Menpes, Mr. Albany Howarth, Mr. L. R. Squirrell, Mr. H. Rushbury, 
Mr. William Monk, Miss Sylvia Gosse, Mr. John Wright — but there 
is so much good etching done nowadays, one has not space even to 
name all those who are doing it. 



62 



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(UNPUBLISHED STATE) 
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'INTERIOR OF ST. ETIENNE-DU-MONT 
PARIS. ■ BY CHARLES J. WATSON, R.E. 



72 



ETCHING AND DRY-POINTI 




{From the i>n'nl in the Possession of 
Mt's-irs Ernest Brown and Phillips) 



'A GLADE IN THE COTSWOLDS." BY 
SIR ALFRED EAST, R.A., P.R.B.A., R.E. 

73 



ETCHING AND DRY-POINT 




'THE SHEPHERDESS." BY 
W. LEE HANKEY, R.E. 



75 



ETCHING AND DRY-POINT 




"ON THE NORTH LAGOON. BY 
NELSON DAWSON, RE. 

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'THE UMBRELLA. BY 
E. S. LUMSDEN, R.E. 



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82 



AQUATINT 

THE earliest idea of using the aquatint method was to imitate 
wash-drawings, at a time when the art of the water-colourist 
had not developed beyond the phase of tinting a design done 
in pen-and-ink. So the English aquatinters of the latter part of 
the eighteenth century and the earlier years of the nineteenth, when 
the method was in its most extensive and popular practice, had no 
thought beyond adding a few flat tones bitten upon the copper-plate 
after the lines of the design had been etched in the soft-ground manner. 
Commonly the aquatinting was done by another hand than that of the 
artist who drew the picture and often did not even etch his own draw- 
ing. The method was employed generally for landscape subjects, but, 
even with the most noted artists who etched and aquatinted their own 
designs, always the pictorial motive was primarily topographical. 
With a limited range of flat tones, rarely, if ever, did they aim at more 
than a conventional suggestion of atmospheric efi^ect in rendering the 
pictorial aspect of their subjects. Subtlety of gradated tones, such as 
we expect as a matter of course in the modern aquatint, was beyond 
their ken. Yet, if we look through a collection of the old aquatints, by 
such representative men as Paul Sandby, the Daniells, the Havells, the 
Maltons, and F. C. Lewis, one finds many that appeal with the charm 
of design enhanced by an engaging simplicity of tonal effect. 
The credit of originating aquatint as a definite graphic method is 
generally accorded to the Frenchman, Jean-Baptiste Le Prince, whose 
prints date from 1768, though in Holland, about the same time, Ploos 
Van Amstel was experimenting with the aquatint principle, as Floding 
was in Sweden. Aquatint tones, in their required pictorial shapes, are 
produced by a mordant eating into a copper-plate through a porous 
ground, the length of exposure to the acid regulating the depth of the 
tones. Le Prince, and those French engravers who promptly took up 
his method, worked with what is known as the "dust-ground," which 
can be fine or coarse according to the density of the cloud into which 
the powdered resin or asphaltum is blown up and allowed to fall in 
specks upon the plate, which is warmed to fix it. But when Paul 
Sandby introduced " aquatinta " into England in 1 775 he invented a new 
basis for it in what is called the "spirit-ground," the reticulated effect 
of which gives a greater luminosity of tone than the dust-ground, and 
this seems to have been quickly recognized by the English aquatinters, 
for at that period it was generally used in this country. The difficulty 
that modern aquatinters find in laying a spirit-ground with the requisite 
evenness, owing to the antagonism of dust, damp, and smoke, does not 
seem to have presented itself to Paul Sandby and his followers ; for 
eighteenth-century England, before the domination of the steam-engine 
and the petrol-motor, must have offered them an atmosphere of a com- 
parative clearness almost ideal for their work, though, of course, a snowy 
day would have been as impossible for laying the ground then as now. 

83 



AQUATINT 

This atmospheric clarity is certainly reflected in the landscape aqua- 
tints of the period, and it differentiates them, as much as their topo- 
graphical point of view, from the plates of the modern artist, who finds 
his pictorial motive in certain harmonious conditions of light and atmo- 
sphere. Paul Sandby's Welsh Bridge at Shrewsbury (p. 87) is a typical 
example. Done in lyy^, three years after the publication of his 
" Twelve Views in Aquatinta from drawings taken on the spot in South 
Wales," it gives, with the design in etched lines and the clouds and 
shadows in tones of aquatint, quite a spirited rendering of the scene. 
The old bridge is faithfully presented, the lighting is treated with a 
sense of the picturesque, there is vivid suggestion in the boats and 
people. In fact, here we see Sandby using with artistic success the 
"mode of imitating drawings on copper-plates" which he claimed to 
have "discovered," although tradition credits him with having learnt 
the secret of Le Prince's gravure au lavis from the Hon. Charles 
Greville, who was said to have bought it from the improvident inventor. 
However, Sandby certainly gave topographical draughtsmen and en- 
gravers a new medium of an engaging facility, which, with the per- 
suasion of tint and tone, gradually outrivalled for their purpose the more 
laborious line-engraving. But it was used always as an accessory to the 
etched line, and commonly as a basis for hand-tinting, as we see it also in 
the popular prints of military, naval, sporting, and ethnographical 
subjects. 

As yet aquatint had not found the full eloquence of its own nature, even 
at the hands of so accomplished an artist as William Daniell. In his 
mag?ium opus, " A Voyage Round Great Britain," charmingly as he used 
the medium on his three hundred and odd plates, picturing our coasts 
— and how charmingly may be seen in the Tenby, Pembrokeshire (p. 88), 
with its rhythmic harmony of design — the aquatint tones were still 
not an essential part of the artistic expression. Daniell did not draw 
in aquatint. His landscape vision was virtually topographical, and his 
pictorial concern with the aspect of a place was not materially affected 
by atmospheric moods. Yet even Turner, with whom skyey influence 
was always an integral factor of expression in landscape, seems to have 
had but a meagre appreciation of the inherent pictorial virtues of 
aquatint. Certainly, his first idea for the engraving of his " Liber Studi- 
orum " drawings was aquatint, but, though in a few plates he used the 
method in a subsidiary fashion, together with soft-ground etching and 
even mezzotint, only one plate of the series. The Bridge a?id Goats with 
the design etched by Turner, was exclusively aquatinted. In this the 
master did not handle the medium himself, he gave over the biting of 
the tones to the capable F. C. Lewis. For Turner aquatint was never 
more than an incomplete reproductive method, and, even as such, it 
was associated with but few of his drawings. 
84 



AQUATINT 

Aquatint waned in popularity as lithography took the field ; and when, 
after many years, it was revived from its moribund state by Sir Frank 
Short, it came at length into its own as a medium of original artistic 
utterance. This master of copper-plate craftsmanship perceived that, 
with its infinite capacity for tone-gradation, aquatint, in the hands of 
a sensitive artist, could draw unexpected beauties from the copper, ex- 
pressive pictorial beauties, of which even a Daniell, a Havell, a Lewis, 
much less a Stadler, a Jukes, or a Bluck, never dreamed. So, with an 
astonishing development of technical resources, he has changed the 
whole artistic conception of aquatint, and raised it to the status of an 
independent graphic art. That Goya might have done this in Spain 
before the end of the eighteenth century one may judge from that unique 
plate of The Caprices — " Because she was sensitive," in which the ex- 
pressive drawing was done entirely in a few ungradated tones of 
aquatint, wonderfully balanced, without any accent of line. Sir Frank 
Short, however, has shown that he can draw his visual impression with 
an infinite range of tones, subtly wrought upon the copper with varied 
devices of grounding, biting, and even scraping, and so suggest scenic 
poetry in the language of light and shade, with the atmospheric elusive- 
ness of definition which nature discovers to the artist as one of the 
mysteries of pictorial beauty. The essential difference between the old 
practice of aquatint and the new can scarcely be seen more convincingly 
than in Sir Frank Short's beautiful Sunrise oer Whitby Scaur, repro- 
duced in this volume (p. 89). Topographical subject has here no word 
to say to the artist ; it is the early sun, as it transfigures, with a glory 
of spreading light, the heavens and the calm North Sea, and reach of 
jutting rock and wet sand, that gives him his pictorial motive. And the 
harmonious beauty of the scene, with its informing sense of life sug- 
gested by the flight of gulls and the silhouettes of distant shipping and 
nearer fishing-craft, he interprets with exquisite art in terms of pure 
aquatint. Dust or spirit-ground he can command with equal dexterity 
and art, as exemplified in this masterly sunrise, and the solemnly beauti- 
ful Dawn, or the luminous Thames at Twickenham, while the fine Span 
of Old Batter sea Bridge shows with rich pictorial effect a happy blending 
of the two grounds. 

An artist who has tested the capacities of aquatint with much variety 
of pictorial motive, and often very beautiful results, is Mr. Alfred 
Hartley. He feels the charm of the medium almost temperamentally, 
and handles it with very sensitive art. Living, as he does, beside the 
Cornish sea, its pictorial aspect under changing influences of light and 
weather makes constant appeal to his artistic sense both as painter and 
aquatinter. In Misty Morning, St. Tr>es (p. 90) the visual impression of 
the fishing-fleet preparing to leave harbour in a dreamy haze, with 
the tugs steaming up and the air alive with a flutter of gulls, is rendered 



AQUATINT 

with a tender subtlety of tone that would have delighted Whistler. 
Mr. Hartley's expressive use of aquatint is readily responsive to the 
pictorial poetry that light shows him, whether it be through the 
windows of a boat-builder's workshop, or on the Chapel stairs at Eton; 
through the trees of an English pastoral glade, or on Italian lake or 
mountain; in the stately gardens of the Grand Trianon at Versailles, or 
on the Atlantic waters as they come homely to our Cornish coast. And 
his prints are not mere reproductions of his paintings. Even when the 
subject-matter is the same in both, always he sees his picture with fresh 
imagination in terms of his medium, and the coarse or fine ground is 
dictated by the varying expression of light. 

Noaquatinterof to-day is more responsive to the romantic and dramatic 
suggestions of light than Mr. Percival Gaskell. Through these, espe- 
cially when, from a sky with storm in it or a troubled sunset, gleam and 
shadow conflict upon solitudes of mountain, lake or seashore, his pic- 
torial expression is informed with a solemnity of sentiment that adds a 
spiritual beauty of interpretation. But it is the artistic truth with which 
he sees the shapes of land, water, and sky in their pictorial harmony that 
inspires his sensitive tone-drawing with the acid upon the copper. The 
romantic Heron s Pool (p. 93) represents him characteristically, though 
The Bait Diggers, a plate of great beauty and distinction (see The Studio 
for March 1916), shows, so far, Mr. Gaskell's height of achievement. 
It is noteworthy that aquatint appeals peculiarly to artists whose tem- 
peraments respond to the call of the waters, whether of the sea, lake, or 
river. Mr. C. H. Baskett is one of these, and from his barge-yacht, in 
which he enjoys the intimacy of our home waters, both inland and 
coastal, his pictorial vision ranges with a happy alertness of selection. 
A seashore with any kind of shipping, and a sky with " weather " in it, 
will afford him inspiring subject-matter, to which his delicate and 
sympathetic handling of aquatint will be charmingly responsive. 
Whitstable (p. 94) is a typical example. 

How graphically expressive aquatint can be when the tones are con- 
ceived, not in black-and-white, but in the subtle hues of atmosphere, is 
shown by Mr. E. L. Laurenson's spirited Chelsea Reach (p. 91). That 
interesting artist uses the medium with such extraordinary vivacity of 
pictorial expression that this print may stand on its merits as an achieve- 
ment of draughtsmanship in luminous spirit-ground aquatint, apart 
from its lure of colour-printing. The appeal of this charming medium 
is widening, and among other artists who use it for individuality of ex- 
pression with distinguished accomplishment are Mr. Hubert Schroder, 
Miss Constance Pott, Mr. W. P. Robins, Mr. Malcolm Osborne, and 
Mr. Leonard R. Squirrell. 



86 



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{Hy t'Crniisriiott c/ Messrs. 
I.. H l.rfnie ami Scu) 



•THE HERON S POOL.' BY 
PERCIVAL GASKELL, R.E. 

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94 



MEZZOTINT 

IF Prince Rupert at the Restoration had not brought with him to 
England the secret of mezzotint-engraving, it is quite possible 
that the process, discovered, but not matured, by the German 
Colonel Ludwig von Siegen, would have died of inanition before 
its technique had been developed. Its early practice in Holland and 
Flanders, in spite of achievements, was hardly more than experi- 
mental, and, even at that, it was so limited, lacking the encouragement 
of popularity, that the immature method had little chance of coming to 
fruition upon the Continent. It would have been necessary, then, to 
rediscover mezzotint in England ; for, even with the technique crude 
and undetermined, the new method, with its principle of drawing light 
out of darkness, seems from the first to have appealed to the English 
temperament. It took thefancyof a few amateurs, such as John Evelyn, 
Francis Place, and William Sherwin, who saw in its capacity for suavity 
of tone in the rendering of light-and-shade contrasts pleasing possibili- 
ties for the translation of oil-painting to the copper by means less 
laborious than the alternative line-engraving. But when Rupert showed 
William Sherwin, to whom we owe the earliest dated English mezzo- 
tint — 1669 — how to roughen the surface of a copper-plate, and pro- 
duce from it the impression of pictorial form by scraping away the 
copper bur in varying degrees and shapes, he gave to the engravers of 
England a method which was so quickly " naturalized," that it came to 
be known abroad as "the English manner," and in time developed, 
under the influence of our native painters, into one of the most beauti- 
ful of the graphic arts. The plates of the early mezzotinters are tech- 
nically interesting from the various devices employed to produce the 
roughened surface, or " ground," that should hold the ink for printing. 
They would use rollers, roulettes, files, and what not, and they even fell 
back upon etching and dry-point for putting in shadows ; but it was not 
until the accomplished Dutch engraver, Abraham Blooteling, invented 
the tool with its sharp teeth, known as the "rocker," for making a 
uniform " ground " upon the plate, that the technique of mezzotint was 
definitely established. This was about 1672, and a notable succession 
of English and Irish engravers, with the brilliant John Smith at their 
head, practised the method for translating to copper from the canvases 
of Lely, Kneller, Wissing, and the other fashionable painters of the 
period, the portraiture of all the contemporary notabilities and notorie- 
ties. So, from the first, mezzotint was regarded as a reproductive, rather 
than a creative, method. 

True, there were no landscape-painters in England at that time, nor any 
graphic artists of imaginative genius to recognize the capacity of mez- 
zotint, with its rich tonal resources, for the expression of original pic- 
torial conceptions. And the Dutch portrait-painters and engravers, who 
came and worked over here, exercising artistic influences, brought no 

95 



MEZZOTINT 

message to mezzotint from the genius of Rembrandt, who, finding his 
etching-needle and his dry-point all-sufficient for his graphic expression 
upon the copper, gave no countenance to the medium discovered 
under his nose, so to speak, in Amsterdam. Yet, when one recalls the 
great plates after Rembrandt done by some of our eighteenth-cen- 
tury mezzotinters, one's fancy snatches at the idea of what pictorial 
wonders of light and shadow the master might have wrought upon the 
roughened copper had he taken the mezzotint scraper in his own hand. 
There was one, however, among the English mezzotinters of the seven- 
teenth century whose artistic originality led him to use the medium 
graphically for rendering the effisct of artificial light under a night sky. 
This was Bernard Lens, father of the miniature-painter, and his two 
" nocturne " prints, representing displays of fireworks in Covent Garden 
and St. James's Square, held in celebration of William Ill's victories 
abroad, though they can pretend to nothing of the mysterious beauty 
that Whistler's pictorial imagination found in the fireworks at Cre- 
morne, are interesting as examples of, at that time, a practically unique 
use of mezzotint as an expressive graphic art. 

Nor did the eighteenth century, with pictorial art answering the call 
of landscape in England, find more employment for the expressive 
capacity of this beautiful medium. On the other hand, the second half 
of the century saw a remarkable group of great engravers carry mezzo- 
tint to its heights of achievement in interpreting the great school 
of English portrait-painters. The masterpieces of Reynolds, Gains- 
borough, Romney, and Hoppner, and the delightful pictorial rustici- 
ties of Morland, inspired the masterly mezzotint translations of J. R. 
Smith, Valentine Green, Jones, Dickinson, the Watsons, the Wards, 
Walker, and the rest, which are now so highly appraised by the col- 
lector — far too highly, it seems to me, since they are not original works 
of art. But J. R. Smith was something more than an interpretative en- 
graver of other men's pictures ; he was an original artist, with style and 
vision of his own. A happy touch with crayons would give graphic 
expression to his vivacious pictorial sense of the social, fashionable 
aspect of contemporary life, and one cannot doubt that these crayon 
drawings were intended from the first for transcription upon the 
copper through the medium of mezzotint. Certainly none better than 
he — not even McArdell with his wonderfully dexterous rendering of 
satins and furs — realized how sympathetic mezzotint could be in sug- 
gesting the textures of fabrics favoured by feminine fashion, such as 
Smith pictured with so much relish of vivacity. This is exemplified 
engagingly here in A Lady leaving the Circulating Library (p. 99) ; while 
J. R. Smith's manner of using mezzotint for original design may be 
studied by comparing his delightful, though rare, print, A Promenade 
at Carlisle House (see "Old English Mezzotints," Plate LXXVI), 
96 



MEZZOTINT 

with the crayon-drawing in the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is in 
Turner's "Liber Studiorum" plates, however, that we find mezzotint 
used for the first time by a great artist for his own pictorial expression. 
As a boy, in the workshop of J. R. Smith, he had seen how a mezzotint 
plate was scraped, and how the outline was etched, and this knowledge 
served his purpose,when, borrowing the idea from Richard Earlom's ad- 
mirable transcriptions of Claude's " Liber Veritatis" drawings, his own 
"Liber Studiorum" took shape. In this immortal series of landscape 
drawings, picturing nature in an astonishing variety of scenic expression 
and atmospheric mood, the original pictorial conception passed through 
progressive phases of artistic creation. The first impression in sepia 
would take its definite form upon the copper, with every expressive and 
structural feature of the landscape, from the etched line, while the tones 
of mezzotint, occasionally assisted by aquatint, would respond to all the 
pictorial suggestions of light and air. The basic etching on all but three 
of the plates was done by the master himself, while, except on ten, the 
mezzotint was added by other engravers under his personal direction. 
But the ten plates which were entirely engraved by him included some 
of the most beautiful, such as The Junction of Severn and Wye (p. loi). 
Calm, Msacus and He sperie\ Inverary Pier, and Source of the Arveron. On 
these Turner's craftsmanship answered his pictorial demands with the 
artistic resourcefulness of a truly creative engraver. With a delicate 
biting of aquatint, for example, he would blend the subtle scraping of 
mezzotint, as in the sky of the lovely Junction of Severn and Wye, a scene 
of supreme beauty, with its riparian vista of winding waters and verdant 
steeps, dominated by the embowered ruins of Chepstow Castle, which 
Turner wrought into a masterpiece of landscape art. 
Constable, like Turner, recognized the value of mezzotint for landscape 
with skies casting their expressive influences of light and shadow, 
though he was content to leave the engraving of his pictures in the sym- 
pathetic interpretative hands of David Lucas. Yet, despite the stimulus 
of Turner and Constable, mezzotint as an expressive art languished for 
years. It was the inspiration of Turner's genius, however, that in- 
fluenced its revival. He had left his " Liber Studiorum " incomplete ; 
only seventy-one of the hundred plates having been finished at his death, 
although all the drawings existed, and most of the plates had been 
etched. Perhaps, in a way, this was fortunate ; for when, some thirty 
years later, Frank Short, taking up Ruskin's challenge, began to com- 
plete the "Liber,"and on the remaining twenty-nine plates the very spirit 
of the master's expression was interpreted, as never before, by the en- 
graver's visual insight and artistic sympathy, the method showed re- 
freshed vitality, and more subtlety in resource. As an interpreter of 
Turner, Constable, DeWint,Crome,G. F.Watts, Alfred East, Sir Frank 
Short has sounded the very genius of mezzotint ; but he has expressed 

97 



MEZZOTINT 

his own pictorial feeling for the mystery and beauty of nature with 
a truly imaginative command of the medium. With every secret of 
the copper-plate revealed to him, he knows that mezzotint, with its 
infinite range and subtlety of tone, will respond with a fuller sympathy 
than any other graphic medium to nature in the tender moods of twi- 
light or of moonlight, especially upon river or sea ; and he has used this 
knowledge with exquisite art and pictorial poetry on a number of 
original plates that would have astonished even Turner's engravers. 
His mezzotint is really creative engraving ; for, when he does not scrape 
the first state of a plate direct from nature, as he did, for instance. The 
'Ebb-Tide, Putney Bridge, a "nocturne" of uncompromising pictorial 
truth, he will etch the salient features of the design direct, and take the 
tonal suggestions from a mental vision, a pencil drawing, or blots of 
colour. In his latest mezzotint, the beautiful Night Picket-Boat, 
Hammersmith (p. 105), Sir Frank Short has given us an exquisite 
vision of the Thames under the romantic glamour of moonlight, when, 
to the artist gazing from Hammersmith Bridge, a London river-side 
store-house may look a very Ehrenbreitstein. How full the scene is of 
a peaceful harmony, yet what a pictorial sense of vitality is suggested 
by the swift movement of the police motor-boat, with the moonlight 
glinting upon the ruffled water in her wake ! 

One recalls some half-dozen charming poetic plates, such as The 
Haunt of the Mosquito, The Salmon Pool on the Spey, done by Sir 
F. Seymour Haden, when, having laid aside his etching-needle, he 
turned to mezzotint with fresh interest ; but the free expressive line 
of the etching-needle or the dry-point was pre-eminently his vision's 
medium. Tone, on the contrary, makes the first appeal to Mr. David 
Waterson, whose romantic visions of landscape seem to call for expres- 
sion in mezzotint. He handles the medium in a manner distinctively 
his own, and happily adapted to the dreamy charms of his pictorial 
imagination, which revels in woodland solitudes of dell and stream, the 
haunts of nymphs and dryads. Dawn (p. 103) is a beautiful example. 
The Isle ofPurbeck (p. 1 00) shows, with a spacious pictorial sense, the ' 
skilful way in which Mr. Percival Gaskell uses mezzotint for broken 
lights and shadows over a great expanse of landscape. In the impressive 
Rochester Castle (p. 104) Mr. Alfred Bentley, with a true mezzo- 
tinter's instinct, lets his picture grow artistically out of the darkness 
with simple suggestions of tone-gradation, emphasized by a few spots 
of light. As a medium for original expression mezzotint has also made 
successful artistic appeal to Mr. Sydney Lee, Mr. Federick Marriott, 
and the late Mr. Niels Lund. Let us hope that its appeal may widen, 
until even the collector of the fashionable eighteenth-century portrait 
reproductions realizes that mezzotint is a living and creative art. 

98 



MEZZOTINT 




•^omt^^tfrnfn 



{From the print in the British Mnseiim) 



■A LADY LEAVING THE CIRCULATING 
LIBRARY." BY J. R. SMITH 



99 



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103 



MEZZOTINT 




'ROCHESTER CASTLE. 
ALFRED BENTLEY, R.E. 



BY 



{From the f'int in thelposses-ium 
of Hiss C.:nslance Poll. K.E.) 



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105 



COLOUR-PRINTING 




{From f/te/>rint in t/ie possession of Mr. Basil Dighion) 



'WHAT YOU WILL. BY J. R. SMITH 



COLOUR-PRINTING 

WHENEVER the arts of engraving have been vivacious, 
colour has made its appeal to them, and the appropriate 
graphic method has alw^ays responded. So the colour-print 
may embrace the crafts of the vi^ood-cutter and the litho- 
grapher, and all the tone methods of the engraver on metal ; and there 
is no reason why the art of the graver-printer in colours may not be as 
expressive and charming in the twentieth century as in the eighteenth, 
different though the pictorial point of view must be. The decorative 
motive is the raison d^etre of the true colour-print, and no one surely 
would claim for an Utamaro, a Debucourt, or a J. R. Smith the emo- 
tional or intellectual significance of a Diirer engraving or Rembrandt 
etching. The vital suggestiveness of line in Rembrandt's wonderful 
portrait of Clement de Jonghe, the printseller, for instance, is artistic- 
ally worth all the Reynolds' portraiture as Bartolozzi turned it " to 
favour and to prettiness " with his tinted stippling. But while the dig- 
nity and beauty of line-engraving and etching require only black and 
white for their utterance, other methods of the metal plate, no less than 
the wood-block and the stone, offer rich possibilities of investing de- 
corative designs with the charm of colour. 

The earliest colour-print done in England was, it seems, a portrait oi 
the reigning monarch, George I. Not a very inspiring beginning, per- 
haps, but pictorial art was in a very dull way here in England in the 
early years of the eighteenth century, when Jacob Christopher Le Blon 
brought from Amsterdam to London his really scientific method of 
printing in colours from metal plates. He took superimposed impres- 
sions from, at first, three plates, one each for red, yellow, and blue, 
adding later a fourth for black, and, judging rightly that a tone-process 
of engraving was the proper basis for colour-printing, he used the only 
one available in his day, mezzotint. But although Le Blon produced 
some remarkable reproductions of "old masters," his effort came to 
bankruptcy, and exercised no artistic influence on the engraving of his 
own day, or the day after. No idea beyond the reproduction of " old 
masters " seems to have actuated other early eighteenth-century at- 
tempts at producing colour-prints by various methods of engraving on 
wood or metal, or the two in combination, by Pond and Knapton, 
Elisha Kirkall and J. B. Jackson. Contemporary connoisseurship seemed 
to preen itself on an exclusive taste in Italian masters,while Fashion and 
the poets adored Sir Godfrey Kneller. There was no popular taste to 
appeal to ; for the subject-picture of British sentiment or pseudo-classic 
allegory had not yet arrived to create it. When it did arrive, and the 
demand for the colour-print with it, the English engravers had no ideal 
of colour-engraving as an artistic medium of expressive purpose. In- 
stead of engraving a set of plates specifically for composing a printed 
design in colours, as Le Blon had done with his mezzotint, and as 

109 



COLOUR-PRINTING 

Janinet, Debucourt, Descourtis, Bonnet, and the rest, did later in 
France with aquatint and the "pastel manner," the English engravers 
merely printed in coloured inks the mezzotint or stipple plates which 
had already done service for the monochrome impressions of their first 
intention. In the case of the mezzotints, the really charming print in 
colours was rare ; for mezzotint loses its special quality of " bloom " 
after a comparatively few impressions, and for that reason seldom was 
an early impression printed in colours. With stipple it was different ; 
the vogue for it was immense, and the groups of engraved dots for tone, 
with a definition of etched dots, took a simple scheme of tints, applied 
freshly for each impression, often with a delicate charm. These English 
colour-prints, typical as they are of the airs and graces of the period, 
and appealing with their pictorial prettiness to no very exacting taste, 
have little claim to be regarded seriously as works of decorative art. 
Original design is rare to find among them. They were mostly repro- 
ductive, and though they purported to represent paintings by the 
popular artists of the day, they made no pretension to copy the painters' 
colour-schemes, as Janinet, with his multi-plate aquatint, would repre- 
sent faithfully the tone-harmonies of Boucher or of Lavreince. Simple 
reds, blues, yellows, and greens, tastefully balanced, would suffice, and 
different impressions from the same plate would occasionally show 
variations in the colour-printer's scheme irrespective of the painter's 
original. All the stipple-engravers, however, were not mere translators ; 
a few of them used the medium also for original design, and, when they 
did, their engraving shows naturally more freedom andindividuality than 
in their reproductive plates. But colour was invariably an after-thought, 
not the motive of the engraving. Here are two examples. In Alinda 
(p. 117) we see William Ward expressing an engaging pictorial sense 
with almost an etcher's freedom of touch, and investing stipple with 
unusual vitality. In the coloured impressions, however, the tinted inks 
have been used with so much reticence that the print is equally attrac- 
tive in monochrome or colour. What you will {^. 107) is one of J. R. 
Smith's vivacious pictorial interpretations of the taste and fashion of 
his day, the fourth plate of a series comprising Maid, Wife, and Widow, 
and here, too, though the tinting is more generous, the lady in the de- 
sign would be no less appealing in black and white. 
William Blake, in the course of his professional engraving, had done 
reproductive stipple-plates for the colour-printer ; but he ignored this 
method altogether when he wanted to express his original conceptions. 
To realize his ideal of a page in which illustration and text should form 
one decorative whole he had to contrive a method entirely his own. He 
printed his basis of colour from plates with design and script etched in 
relief, and then added other tints by hand, with the results we see on the 
enchanting pages of his " Songs of Innocence." But in all the colour- 
1 10 



COLOUR-PRINTING 




"LAGONIE DES FLEURS" 
BY THEODORE ROUSSEL 



I 



COLOUR-PRINTING 

printing of the period hand-tinting played an auxiliary part, though 
not the deliberately artistic part it played in Blake's illustrated books. 
In the original colour-print of to-day all the colour is actually printed ; 
but then, the whole thing is conceived as an organic work of art, and, 
therefore, possesses an aesthetic significance which can hardly be claimed 
for the pretty stipple-prints of the eighteenth century, with their more 
or less haphazard colour-printing. Whichever method he may use, the 
artist plans his design from the first with decorative intention in terms 
of printed colours, and his series of wood-blocks, metal-plates, or litho- 
graphic stones, take from his hand the shapes of diverse tints that shall 
compose the harmony of his colour-pattern. 

Mr. Theodore Roussel, the distinguished President of the Society of 
Graver-Printers in Colours, may be regarded as the veteran of the 
original colour-print in England ; for he has been experimenting en- 
thusiastically and devotedly with colours upon metal-plates for about 
thirty years. With exquisite artistry and scientific resource he has pro- 
duced beautiful prints. Always he has used aquatint and soft-ground 
etching on a series of plates, as the eighteenth-century Frenchmen did, 
but with numerous devices suggested by his own experience and inven- 
tion ; and, in aiming at a particular quality in the result, in each case he 
has considered from that special point of view not only the manner of 
treating his design with the most appropriate aquatint grain, and the 
selection of his tints, but the mixing of his inks with the colour-powders 
weighed to a milligram, the choice of paper, and the way of printing, 
which with the artistic engraver is ever an essential part of his means 
of expression. Artist from the very centre of his being, fine painter, 
charming etcher, in such beautiful colour-prints as Moonrise in the New 
Forest, Embers Glow, and the splendid UAgonie des Fleurs, Mr. Roussel 
has found, perhaps, the most purely personal utterance of his art. 
Twenty-two printings from ten plates go to the making of a complete 
proof of V Agonie des Fleurs, reproduced on page 1 1 1 from a trial proof. 
Red poppies, with a tobacco flower and a dead bronze-coloured hop- 
leaf, resting in a figured Chinese vase that stands on a lacquered tray of 
red and yellow, bordered with black, all against a background of deep 
purple-grey, make a decorative design of artistic distinction. 
Aquatint, with or without the accent of soft-ground etching for 
definition, has also been found an expressive medium for the colour- 
print by Mr. Alfred Hartley, Lieut. W. Lee Hankey, Mr. E. L. Lauren- 
son, and Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Dawson, who, each in a personally 
characteristic marmer, have used it to produce prints of decorative appeal 
and distinctive art. A typical plate of Mr. Laurenson's is illustrated 
in the Aquatint section. But Mr. William Giles, who is devoting 
his artistic life to pictorial expression through the decorative signifi- 
cance of printed colour, finds aquatint wanting in rendering his ideal 

113 



COLOUR-PRINTING 

purity of tones, and has contrived a method of printing from plates 
etched in relief by which that purity can be assured. This is admirably 
exemplified in The Last Gleam, Corsica (p. 1 1 5), a print which, with its 
subtleties of colour-gradation, shows the possibilities of the medium. , 
A most interesting feature of the original colour-print movement is the 
modern English development of the wood-block manner of the Japanese. 
Unlike the practice in Japan, where the artist is never the engraver and 
printer of his design, the English designer is engraver and printer 
too, and so his print is in every sense an individual work of art. To 
Mr. F. Morley Fletcher's technical researches and teaching primarily 
belongs the credit of acclimatizing this charming method in England, 
though Mr. J. D. Batten was associated with him in the inception. Mr. 
Fletcher's own mastery of the medium is shown here in his appealing 
IViston River (p. 1 5,1 ) , with its placid landscape seen tenderly in gracious 
rhythmic shapes of delicate tones. Mr. Giles, with his pictorial vitality, 
has compassed a remarkable range of colour-harmonies in exquisite 
gradations of tone ; Mr. Sydney Lee aims at simpler colour-schemes in 
purely decorative designs ; Mr. Allen W. Seaby finds in the plumage 
and forms of birds happy motives for his wood-blocks. Miss Ethel 
Kirkpatrick, Miss Mabel Royds, and Miss Ada L. Collier have also cut 
the wood for colour with pictorial distinction. Mr. Charles H. Mackie 
makes some important variants from the technical procedure of the fore- 
going, notably in mixing a little oil with his colours, and omitting the 
key-block of the Japanese practice. He has described his«method as " an 
emotional use of the printing press, differing from painting only in block- 
shapes being used instead of brush-marks." His sumptuous pictorial 
pnnt,T/ie Pa/ace Gardens, Fenice (p. 1 19), aptly illustrates his description. 
Mr. Charles H. Shannon and Mr. Lucien Pissarro have reverted to the 
older traditions of wood-engraving for their exquisite prints. Lieut. 
Emile Verpilleux produces his atmospheric gradations of tone by cutting 
and gouging upon the blocks, making all possible use of the inherent 
qualities of the grain. Once the blocks are finished, the printing is a 
straightforward and rapid process, differing frorn the Japanese method 
mainly in the use of the printing-press and ordinary printer's fat ink, A 
print of his is a direct creation from the blocks, based on slight sketches 
and colour-notes, such as this fine King's College Chapel, Cambridge 
(p. 118). 

A few artists who have practised lithography have realized its expres- 
sive qualities as a medium for colour. Whistler was one of these, and he 
produced some exquisitely tinted gems. Now lithography bids fair to 
come into its own as a means to pictorial expression with a full gamut 
of colour. The beautiful print, The hovers (p. i 33), by that master of 
lithographic technique, Mr. F. Ernest Jackson, shows its rich pic- 
torial possibilities. This print was done from four stones only. 

114 



COLOUR-PRINTING 




-■-?■>*. 




■THE LAST GLEAM. ICORSICA 
BY WILLIAM GILES 



COLOUR-PRINTING 




{Frotn the print in tlie possession 
of Mr. Basil Dighlon) 



'ALINDA.- BY WILLIAM WARD, A.E. 

117 



COLOUR-PRINTING 




" KING'S COLLEGE CHAPEL, CAMBRIDGE' 
BY E. A. VERPILLEUX 

ii8 



(Fiont the print in the possession of 
Messrs, P. and Dt Colna^hi and Obach) 



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LITHOGRAPHY 

EHOGRAPHY is the youngest of all the graphic methods ; yet, 
in its career of only some hundred and twenty years, it has, like 
its seniors, experienced ups and downs of artistic fortune, 
though the commercial value of its easy multiplicative capacity 
has been recognized consistently from the beginning. Indeed it was for 
practical utility, and not with any idea of artistic purpose, that Aloys 
Senefelder in Munich, after countless experiments with a principle he 
had discovered accidentally, developed his method of printing from 
greasy strokes upon polished limestone, which later he gave to the 
world as Lithography. He brought his invention to London, and took 
out English patents, in association with a printer from Germany estab- 
lished here, named Andre. This astute person seems to have perceived 
at once the pictorial capacity of Senefelder's method, for within a year 
or two he had induced a number of prominent artists to make experi- 
mental drawings upon the stone. Among these were Benjamin West, 
then President of the Royal Academy, Stothard, at the height of his 
popularity as an illustrator, James Barry, Fuseli, and Sir Robert K. 
Porter, the painter of battles, who allowed Andre to publish their draw- 
ings, in 1 803, as " Specimens of Polyautography," an apt designation, by 
the way. These were done mostly in pen and ink, only one or two in 
chalk, but they give no indication that the draughtsmen realized they 
were employing a medium rich in artistic possibilities. A Polyauto- 
graphic Society seems to have been formed, and during the next few 
years were issued from its " office " drawings by Blake, John Downman, 
Singleton, H. B. Chalon, the animal-painter, William Havell, Richard 
Cooper, and others. But these experiments were, so to speak, flashes in 
the pan. The painters had little use for an autographic method. 
Although in France, as soon as lithography was introduced, the greatest 
painters had recognized its artistic virtues, and during the first forty 
years or so of the nineteenth century practised it with enthusiasm for 
graphic expression, producing many fine works of art, it was not till 
about I 820 that in England any extensive use was made of the medium 
for pictorial purposes. 

Aquatint was on the wane, and the print-market was ready for a new 
method. A resourceful lithographic printer was available in Charles 
HuUmandel, who had learnt his craft from Senefelder himself, and he 
was indefatigable in urging English artists to draw upon the stone 
itself, or on the special paper that could transfer to it the exact draw- 
ing ; while Ackerman, the publisher, was prepared to do for lithography 
what he had done for aquatint. So a certain number of artists took up 
the medium with industrious ardour, utilizing it at first hand for their 
own expression, and also for reproducing the designs of others. Of 
these the most prominent were Samuel Prout, J. D. Harding, Louis 
Haghe, J. Shotter Boys, Joseph Nash, R. J. Lane, and R. P. Bonington, 

121 



LITHOGRAPHY 

who, though working in France, kept in touch with EngUsh artists. 
Samuel Prout is, of course, one of the classics of lithography. He did 
an illustration for Senefelder's own book on the. subject, in its English 
translation published in 1 8 1 9, and his prints, with Harding's and 
Bonington's, were welcomed in Paris among those of the great French 
artists of the period. He was a prolific and an admirable, though 
prosaic, draughtsman, with a keen eye for the picturesque aspect of 
architecture, but preoccupied with accurate presentment of the subject 
rather than its scenic expressiveness. He is seen at his best in " Sketches 
made in Flanders and Germany," one of which. On the Walls, Cologne, 
represents him here (p. 125). A graphic artist of greater interest and 
more varied expression was James Duffield Harding, to whom the living 
picturesqueness of place, whether the foreign town or the English park, 
made appeal with certainty of artistic response that took cognizance of 
light and air as pictorial factors, though not, perhaps, as motives. 
Maybe he was influenced by Bonington, many of whose drawings he 
lithographed. Harding's original prints show varied pictorial interest ; 
they have life in them. He had a good eye for tone, and used the 
wash method of lithography as effectively as the chalk. The spirited 
sea-piece reproduced here (p. 1 26) shows this. An engaging contrast is 
the serene beauty of the View of Dunkirk (p. 1 27), representing Boning- 
ton's own handling of the chalk upon the stone. For me this has more 
artistic charm than his brilliant Rue du Gros-Horloge a Rouen. Joseph 
Nash is best known for his " Old English Mansions," but his pictorial 
treatment of an architectural subject is pleasantly exemplified in this view 
of St. Jacques, Dieppe [p. 1 28) . Some of the best lithographs of the period 
were done by J. Shotter Boys, to whom a street appealed not primarily 
as an aggregation of buildings, but as a scene of human habitation and 
activity. His lithographs of London in the 'forties, so many of which 
were reproduced in our " London Past and Present," have, with this 
live sense of the contemporary aspect, permanent artistic interest. 
George Cattermole used lithotint with characteristically spirited effect 
for figure and landscape ; J. S. Cotman's graphic touch found the chalk 
more sympathetic. Among the landscape-painters who lithographed 
artistically Henry Bright must not be forgotten, and T. Sidney Cooper 
did some interesting prints. James Ward drew famous horses remark- 
ably on the stone, and Bewick's single experiment was equestrian ; while, 
in a manner all his own, Edward Calvert used the method for at least 
two of his ideal designs. Louis Haghe influenced the practice of the 
art considerably as artist, lithographer of other people's designs, such as 
David Roberts's, and printer ; while a still more influential personality 
in the earlier English lithographic practice was R. J. Lane, whose 
specialty was the portraiture, both original and reproductive, of cele- 
brated contemporaries. 
122 



LITHOGRAPHY 

But the popular print thrived the while commercially, and artistic 
lithography gradually waned. Its revival was due in a large measure to 
the enthusiastic stimulus of the printers, Thomas Way and Frederick 
Goulding. It was Mr. Way who in 1 878 induced Whistler to make 
his first drawing on the stone, with a result so dehghtful to the master 
himself that his artistic interest was thoroughly roused. Appreciating 
the qualities and varieties of tone that the stone could give in response 
to the touch of his chalk or his brush, he set himself to master litho- 
graphy as a fresh means of expressing certain artistic moods, and in the 
course of twenty years he produced many pieces of delicate beauty and 
charm, masterpieces among them, with effects that no other litho- 
grapher had ever achieved or attempted. Approaching the technique 
with the imagination of a creative artist, he employed it in fresh and 
various ways. To the simple chalk line, which he commanded with 
such exquisitely dainty effect, he would occasionally add tones done 
with the stump, or washes of diluted ink, drawing sometimes on stone, 
sometimes on transfer paper ; but, as we learn from the late Mr. T. R. 
Way, artist-lithographer himself, on whose expert skill Whistler had 
to rely so much for the printing of his lithographs and lithotints, his 
wash-drawings were made exclusively on the stone, and these are among 
his most precious achievements. The Thames, for instance, what a 
perfect gem ! And what lovely hints, too, he has left us of the wonder- 
ful colour-harmonies he might have produced had he enjoyed the per- 
sonal command of the lithographic press ! 

Whistler's example awakened a certain amount of interest, and artists 
began to follow it. The earliest of them to devote himself to a serious 
artistic use of lithography was Mr. Charles Shannon, and he mastered 
the medium, the technique and printing, for a beautiful simplicity of 
pictorial utterance, always essentially poetic, and absolutely individual 
in conception and manner. The loveliness of his designs seems the 
more expressive through the delicate tones of silvery grey he draws 
from the stone — and many of them are very lovely indeed. In Salt 
Water (p. 129), with the live, moving sense of the sea, and the delicious 
expression of the children, one feels the sensitive artist's joy in the doing, 
and this is characteristic. Lithography proved a medium happily re- 
sponsive to the romantic fantasy and spontaneous gaiety of the late 
Charles Conder's art. Here is an example from the "Carnival" series 
(p. 1 31), in which, with allitscharmof decorative composition, there is 
the sense of the pictorial impromptu, with the allurement of rhythmic 
movement in the dancing figures. 

The Studio may claim an active share in the revival of artistic litho- 
graphy, and the spirited print by the late R. W. Macbeth, reproduced 
here (p. 132), entitled Weed-Burners in the Fens, was one of the many 
original lithographs issued as supplements to the earlier numbers. 

123 



LITHOGRAPHY 

Many other members of the Royal Academy were induced to experi- 
ment with the method, but few were really interested in it. Mr. Sar- 
gent and Mr. Gilbert appreciated it, however. Alphonse Legros, a 
veteran among lithographers, was, of course, an influence, and his 
masterly portraits were an inspiration for Mr. Strang and Mr. William 
Rothenstein, who proved worthy followers. 

The great impetus which has been given to lithography within the last 
few years is largely due to the exhibitions of the Senefelder Club. Mr. 
F. Ernest Jackson, who has mastered all the known resources of lithog- 
raphy, and is discovering fresh ones, exercises a great influence through 
his teaching, as well as his art, which is represented in this volume by a 
beautiful example in colour. The Lowers (p. 133). 

Another veteran of the medium, and one of its most vigorous ex- 
ponents, is Mr. A. S. Hartrick, who, in this glimpse of the most ancient 
of Scottish castles, Niedpath^ Tweed (p. 135), shows a fine command of 
tone-values. Mr. Frank Brangwyn's powerful print, The hast Boat, 
Antwerp, 1 9 1 4 (p. 1 3 6) , in showing how graphically at home he is upon 
the stone, gives us a most vividly impressive conception of a pathetically 
dramatic incident. In They that go up to the Merciful Town, Kipling has 
given a suggestive title to a beautiful picture, rich in human expression, 
by Mr. G. Spencer Pryse (p. 137), one of the most interesting and ac- 
complished among our contemporary lithographers, who uses the 
medium with extraordinary charm and power for his pictorial utter- 
ances, always appealing with democratic sympathy. The artistic charm 
of Miss Ethel Gabain's prints, with their vivacity of design, as exempli- 
fied here in her engaging Colombine a sa Toilette (p. 1 39), is emphasized 
by her exceptional quality of tone. Like the five artists just mentioned, 
Mr. John Copley, another master of lithographic technique, always 
draws direct upon the stone, knowing its grain will give fine qualities 
that no transfer-paper can. Graphically alert for character, he enjoys 
unusual revelations of modernity, as one sees in The Musicians (p. 140). 
A similar subject, but with very different presentment, is The Casino Or- 
chestra, of Mr. Claude Shepperson (p. 141). In this, with vivacious 
draughtsmanship responsive to a keen sense of characterization and 
originality of conception, the artist gives us a delightful print. Miss 
Sylvia Gosse shows in The Minx (p. 142) that she can be as happily 
incisive with the lithographic chalk as with soft-ground etching. 
There are several masters of lithography not illustrated here, whose 
works are now so distinguished that one need but name them ; for 
instance, Mr. E. J. Sullivan, Mr. George Clausen, Mr. J. Kerr Lawson, 
Mr. Daniel A. Veresmith, Mr. Maurice Greiffenhagen, Mr. W. 
Nicholson, Mr. OHver Hall, Mr. Anthony Barker, Miss Edith Hope, 
Mr. Harry Becker, Mr. J. Walter West. And one is glad to welcome 
to the ranks of lithographers Mr. Muirhead Bone and Mr. Nevinson. 
124 



LITHOGRAPHY 











{From ' Skitches made in 
Flanders and Germany") 



••ON THE WALLS, COLOGNE" 
BY SAMUEL PROUT 

125 



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127 



LITHOGRAPHY 




'ST. JACQUES, DIEPPE" 
BY JOSEPH NASH 

128 



(From the print in the possession 
of Mr. Frank L. Emanuel) 



LITHOGRAPHY 







MMnHilOT^'Ai 



C- H /^»<'\~w<A^ -^ lo 



iFi-om the print in the tossession of 
Mfssis. Ernest IlioK'ii anil PliilliP:,) 



•SALTWATER." BY CHARLES 
H. SHANNON, A.R.A. 

129 



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LITHOGRAPHY 




'THE LOVERS. ' BY F. ERNEST JACKSON 



LITHOGRAPHY 




'NIEDPATH CASTLE, TWEED" 
BY A. S. HARTRICK, A.R.W.S. 



LITHOGRAPHY 




•THE LAST BOAT, ANTWERP, 1914 
BY FRANK BRANGWYN, A.R.A., P.R.B.A. 

136 



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LITHOGRAPHY 




{Fiom the t'int in the f^^ssessi^in of 
Messrs. P. and D. Colnaghi and Obach) 



•COLOMBINE A SA TOILETTE" 
BY ETHEL GABAIN 

139 



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LITHOGRAPHY 



^'i'^W'^ 








"THE MINX." BY SYLVIA GOSSE 
142 



{From the trint in the f<^ssession of 
Messrs. P- and D. Colnaahi and Oback) 



WOOD-ENGRAVING 

WOODCUTS appeared in almost the earliest books printed in 
England, but they were of haphazard character, usually of 
foreign origin, and of little or no illustrative or decorative 
significance. They were regarded as "embellishments, "but 
so slight was their relation to the text that the same cut would often be 
used in different books. Their craftsmanship was crude, their art primi- 
tive. The expressive use of woodcut made in the late fifteenth century 
and early sixteenth by the artists of \'^enice and Florence, and by Diirer, 
Altdorfer, Burgkmair, Cranach, Lucas Van Leyden, and a legion of 
other German and Flemish artists, found no artistic echo in this country ; 
and even Holbein, while working in England, gave nothing of his de- 
sign to the wood-cutters here, though certainly there was among them 
no Liitzelburger. Yet, from the days of Caxton, and during the two 
succeeding centuries, despite the overwhelming favour of the copper- 
plate methods, the craft of wood-engraving was practised, though with 
little graphic expression to preserve its artistic tradition. Then, in the 
last quarter of the eighteenth century, Thomas Bewick appeared, a 
young artist of graphic genius, and recognizing, even as an engraver's 
apprentice, the inherent qualities of the wood-block as a basis for 
original engraving, he initiated a fresh ideal and tradition of wood- 
engraving as a graphic art. 

Bewick's innovation in technique consisted mainly in developing the 
use of the white line into a method. That meant incising the lines of a 
design, so that they would print white on a black ground, instead of 
merely cutting the wood away from lines intended for printing, as in 
the traditional practice. But by using the two methods in combination, 
for effects that his pictorial invention demanded, Bewick could take 
suggestions from the wood itself, cut across the grain, and so, by bring- 
ing the very nature of his material into the service of his art, he could 
achieve results of a richer variety. This may be seen in his most famous 
print, 77;^ ChilUngham Bull, reproduced here (p. 147), in which the tex- 
ture of the wild beast's coat is suggested with no less truth to nature than 
the naturalistic differentiation of the luxuriant foliage in the background 
and the vegetation in the foreground. But though this fine print is 
generally considered Bewick's masterpiece, it is in his lovingly faithful 
portraiture of birds, with his elaborate rendering of plumage, though 
with little attempt at picturing their characteristic motions in flight, 
that his genius as a wood-engraver is shown at, perhaps, its most skil- 
ful ; while, as a creative artist, his pictorial imagination found happiest, 
personal expression in his delightful tailpieces, or vignettes, with their 
natural poetry, humanity and humorous insight. 

Bewick was still living and at work, applauded as the first of English 
wood-engravers, when, in 1820, William Blake, in the fullness of his 
genius, turned to the wood-block for a new means of expression, and 

143 



WOOD-ENGRAVING 

cut his exquisite designs for Thornton's edition of Ambrose PhiUp's 
" Pastorals " (p. 1 48) . Although the material was entirely new to him, 
its very unfamiliarity stimulated Blake's sense of craftsmanship to test 
the wood's capacities with the creative impulse of his imagination. 
Instinctively he saw, it would seem, that with the white line on black 
ground he could achieve vivid contrasts that would invest his little 
pastoral visions with the poetry of light. Though the designs them- 
selves, outlined, as they are in the original drawings, very delicately 
with a fine brush-point in Indian ink, show within their small compass 
Blake's masterly sense of rhythmic composition, these magical effects 
of glowing light suggest a spontaneity of origin upon the wood itself, as 
it offered its expressive help to the artist's graver. Blake's Arcadian 
lyrics of the wood-block' — "visions of little dells and nooks and corners 
of Paradise," as his young disciple, Samuel Palmer, described them — 
proved a fruitful inspiration to the imaginative vision of Edward Cal- 
vert, when that spiritual young artist came, with all his enthusiasm, also 
under the master's influence. Calvert's wood-engraving was no less 
creative than Blake's, but it was more technically accomplished; it 
seemed to lend itself completely to his artistic expression. Very beauti- 
ful in design his cuts are, with an informing poetry all their own. The 
Return Home and The Chamber - Idyll, for instance, are perfect little 
pictures, while The Ploughman (p. 148) is an artistic creation of the 
highest order, with spirituality implicit in its pictorial beauty. "He 
putteth his hand to the plough, and looketh not back. And the serpent's 
head shall be bruised." Yet note the nymphs of the grove expressing 
with music and dance the joy of life. 

Original engraving of this imaginative quality found little encourage- 
ment, but reproductive wood-engraving went on its way without 
rejoicing, and for a time overshadowed by the popularity of steel-en- 
graving. Animmenseimpetus was given to it, however, when, in 1857, 
the publication of the Moxon edition of Tennyson's Poems inaugurated 
that most interesting movement in great illustrative design which ex- 
tended over the 'sixties and early 'seventies of the last century. All the 
most original British artists of that period of stirring imagination were 
concerned in it, with the leading engravers agog to reproduce their de- 
signs as faithfully as cutting away the wood from the lines drawn on the 
blocks would allow. But magnificent designs of Millais, Sandys, Ros- 
setti, and the other great illustrators of the 'sixties would, in their rich 
intricacies of line and tone, have often taxed sorely the old facsimile 
cutters, as they must have taxed all the technical resources of even the 
Dalziels, Swain, Linton, Whymper, and Hooper. These engravers rose 
loyally to the occasion, and among the publications that were a direct 
result of the movement, such as " Once a Week," " The Cornhill," 
"Good Words," Dalziel's "Arabian Nights," and the "Bible Gallery," 
144 



WOOD-ENGRAVING 

and Wilmot's " Poets of the Nineteenth Century," as well as the Moxon 
" Tennyson," may be found wood-cuts representing as faithfully as pos- 
sible masterpieces of design that can hold their own for dignity and 
beauty of expression with any graphic art in the great past of Germany 
or Italy. The scope of this volume, however, excludes from our illus- 
trations examples of these admirable reproductive engravers. 
Wood-engraving gradually ceased to be a factor in the illustrated press 
as the exigencies of speed increased ; its occupation was quite gone 
when the photographic tone-processes came to the service of the illus- 
trator. But this change led to the revival of original wood-engraving. 
From Mr. Charles Ricketts and Mr. Charles H. Shannon came the first 
artistic impetus to this charming revival. Meeting as fellow-students 
while learning the craft of wood-engraving in the regular professional 
way of reproduction, their artistic instincts led them to a true apprecia- 
tion of the early Italian and German woodcuts, and they formed a 
genuinely aesthetic conception of the wood-block as an expressive 
medium for book-decoration. With the stimulating artistic ideals of 
their joint publication, "The Dial," in 1889, which led to the beauti- 
ful issues of the Vale Press, in which the original woodcut took its 
proper place with the type exquisitely upon the page, the modern move- 
ment in creative wood-engraving was practically started. Mr. Ricketts, 
the moving spirit, Mr. Shannon, Mr. Sturge Moore, Mr. Reginald 
Savage, Mr, Lucien Pissarro — they were a most interesting little group 
of artists working in association for the ideal of beautiful book-decora- 
tion, and each expressing his individuality in lovely design upon the 
wood. The enthusiasm of Mr. Ricketts for the decorative graces of the 
early Italians, such as one sees in the pages, for instance, of the Venetian 
" Hypnerotomachia Poliphili," proved inspiring to his own masterly 
woodcuts. He seems to command the material with his purity of line 
and gracious sense of decorative harmony, and withal a graphic poetry 
of intense individuality. These are the characteristic qualities of his 
" Parables," of his "Danae"series, of his two "Cupid and Psyche" sets, 
of his wonderfully imaginative frontispiece to the Vale " Milton," and 
of the thirty-six lovely illustrations to " Daphnis and Chloe," " done in 
the Italian manner " in collaboration of perfect artistic sympathy with 
Mr. Shannon. Mr. Ricketts's wood-engraving is represented here by 
an unpublished frontispiece to Plato's "Symposium" (p. 149), the 
original block of which is in the Fitzwilliam Museum. Even without 
the suggestive influence of Blake and Calvert, and the sympathetic 
guidance of Mr. Ricketts and Mr. Shannon, Mr. Sturge Moore's art 
must, I think, have found its originality of utterance upon the wood- 
block, so perfect is the union of ideal with the material. Poet, as he is, 
of exquisite imagination and serene expression, his graphic conceptions 
are extraordinarily imaginative, and imbued with a poetry of natural 



WOOD-ENGRAVING 

loveliness. His designs seem to grow inevitably out of the ideas, sharing 
their joyous beauty and magnificence, as one sees pre-eminently in 
the wonderful series of " The Metamorphoses of Pan," yet no less in The 
Centaur s First Love, and others of" The Centaur and the Bacchante " 
set, the tender Sermon on the Mount, and the Wordsworth illustrations. 
Mr. Moore's finely inventive sense of decoration and purity of wood- 
engraving are shown here in the frontispiece to his volume of poems, 
A Conflict (p. 150). Mr. James Guthrie is another notable artist who 
uses the wood-block sensitively for imaginative expression. 
Very different in manner and conception is the vigorous wood-en- 
graving of Mr. Frank Brangwyn. With characteristic confidence in his 
powers of pictorial invention, and a full knowledge of his material and 
its capacities, he conceives his design direct upon the wood itself, draw- 
ing, as it were, with his graver as his imagination works, while the 
grain of the block speaks to his alert craftsmanship in accents of black 
and white. With what expressive energy Mr. Brangwyn's art can create 
vital design in the legitimate terms of wood-engraving we may see in 
the striking print reproduced here — A Fair Wind (p. 153). Mr. Sydney 
Lee's artistic expression, no less than Mr. Brangwyn's, seems to find a 
happy stimulus in versatility of craft, and wood-engraving is with him 
a favourite and sympathetic medium. He uses it finely and boldly, aim- 
ing always at a result peculiar to the material. When he has planned the 
essential lines and masses of his design he develops his pictorial detail 
upon the wood, inventing as he engraves. He uses chiefly the white 
line, though he realizes also the value of the black. Mr. Lee's consum- 
mate accomplishment on the block is The Limestone Rock, a splendid 
print ; but The Bridge (p. 154) shows his vivid handling of black and 
white in bold decorative design. 

One of the most interesting of the creative wood-engravers is Mrs. 
Gwendolen Raverat, whose imaginative temperament responds with a 
natural spontaneity to the medium's artistic appeal. Her designs, what- 
ever their significance, are alive with an extraordinary expressiveness 
that gives them an unaffected beauty, with the special charm of the 
woodcut. She revels in the romance of the supernatural, and in her 
illustrations of the wonderful old ballads she seems to catch in simple 
graphic expression the very essence of the original. Gypsies (p. 155) 
shows impressively her pictorial command of sharp contrasts of black 
and white for effects of firelight. 

Many other artists have in recent years used the wood-block for original 
design; Mr. William Strang, for instance, Mr. Nicholson, Mr. Gordon 
Craig, Mr. H. J. Webb, Mr. Lovat Fraser, Mr. Brydon, Mr. Noel 
Rooke, Mr. Eric Gill, and some members of the so-called Birmingham 
School, represented here by the graphic romanticism of Mr. Bernard 
Sleigh's Vision of Piers Ploivman (p. 156). 
146 



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147 



WOOD-ENGRAVING 




ILLUSTRATION FOR THORNTON'S EDITION OF AMBROSE PHILIPS 

BY WILLIAM BLAKE 

{From the t'l'iit ill the Biiti<.h Museum) 



' PASTORALS " 




THE PLOUGHMAN. BY EDWARD CALVERT 
{Front the t'rittt in tlie British .Vitieittn) 



148 



WOOD-ENGRAVING 



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EYMnOEION 




{From the K'ood-block in the 
Fitzivilham Mitseitin. Cambridge) 



FRONTISPIECE TO PLATO S "SYMPOSIUM" 
BY CHARLES RICKETTS 

149 



WOOD-ENGRAVING 




FRONTISPIECE TO "A CONFLICT." BY T. STURGE MOORE 
150 


















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WOOD-ENGRAVING 




"THE BRIDGE" BY 
SYDNEY LEE, R.E. 



154 



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156 





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