X hits on this document





59 / 70

should cease to be valued for their wealth of whimsical invention.

In referring to these masterpieces of Bewick's, it must not be

forgotten that he had the aid of some clever assistants.  His

younger brother John was not without talent, as is clear from his

work for Somervile's "Chace," 1796, and that highly edifying book,

the "Blossoms of Morality."  Many of the tail-pieces to the "Water

Birds" were designed by Robert Johnson, who also did most of the

illustrations to Bewick's "Fables" of 1818, which were engraved by

Temple and Harvey, two other pupils.  Another pupil was Charlton

Nesbit, an excellent engraver, who was employed upon the "Birds,"

and did good work in Ackermann's "Religious Emblems" of 1808, and

the second series of Northcote's "Fables."  But by far the largest

portion of the tail-pieces in the second volume of the "Birds" was

engraved by Luke Clennell, a very skilful but unfortunate artist,

who ultimately became insane.  To him we owe the woodcuts, after

Stothard's charming sketches, to the Rogers volume of 1810, an

edition preceding those already mentioned as illustrated with steel-

plates, and containing some of the artist's happiest pictures of

children and amorini.  Many of these little groups would make

admirable designs for gems, if indeed they are not already derived

from them, since one at least is an obvious copy of a well-known

sardonyx--("The Marriage of Cupid and Psyche.")  This volume,

generally known by the name of the "Firebrand" edition, is highly

prized by collectors; and, as intelligent renderings of pen and ink,

there is little better than these engravings of Clennell's. {12}

Finally, among others of Bewick's pupils, must be mentioned William

Harvey, who survived to 1866.  It has been already stated that he

engraved part of the illustrations to Bewick's "Fables," but his

best known block is the large one of Haydon's "Death of Dentatus."

Soon after this he relinquished wood-engraving in favour of design,

and for a long period was one of the most fertile and popular of

book-illustrators.  His style, however, is unpleasantly mannered;

and it is sufficient to make mention of his masterpiece, the

"Arabian Nights" of Lane, the illustrations to which, produced under

the supervision of the translator, are said to be so accurate as to

give the appropriate turbans for every hour of the day.  They show

considerable freedom of invention and a large fund of Orientalism.

Harvey came to London in 1817; Clennell had preceded him by some

years; and Nesbit lived there for a considerable time.  What

distinguishes these pupils of Bewick especially is, that they were

artists as well as engravers, capable of producing the designs they

engraved.  The "London School" of engravers, on the contrary, were

mostly engravers, who depended upon others for their designs.  The

foremost of these was Robert Branston, a skilful renderer of human

figures and indoor scenes.  He worked in rivalry with Bewick and

Nesbit; but he excelled neither, while he fell far behind the

former.  John Thompson, one of the very best of modern English

engravers on wood, was Branston's pupil.  His range was of the

widest, and he succeeded as well in engraving fishes and birds for

Yarrell and Walton's "Angler," as in illustrations to Moliere and

"Hudibras."  He was, besides, a clever draughtsman, though he worked

Document info
Document views241
Page views241
Page last viewedSat Jan 21 14:59:17 UTC 2017