Nature’s Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick (book #57)

Jenny Uglow, 2006.

As thoughtful, dense and reaching out as Uglow usually is.

Uglow quotes Bewick in his memoirs on how the artist ought to live:

Ought if possible to have his dwelling in the country where he could follow his business undisturbed, surrounded by pleasing rural scenery & the fresh air and as ‘all work & no play, makes Jack a dull Boy,’ he ought not to sit at it, too long at a time, but to unbend his mind with some variety of employment – for which purpose, it is desireable [sic], that Artists, with their little Cots, should also each have a Garden attached in which they might find both exercise & amusement – and only occasionally visit the City or the smokey Town & that chiefly for the purpose of meetings with their Brother Artists.

Here are two of the many prints with which the book is sprinkled.



The latter is copperplate by Bewick’s son Robert, c 1812, from Bewick’s drawing. Uglow doesn’t say, but I think this must have been an invitation card or ball-card – Bewick’s workshop did a great deal of commercial work of this kind. I like the chap on the right with his leg poised in air.


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3 Responses to “Nature’s Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick (book #57)”

  1. maglinty Says:

    What an idyllic life. Don’t you need to put wood engraving in your tags?

  2. cassincork Says:

    Don’t think so. Tags are just for data-collecting. I keep reading “little Cots” as “little Cats”.

  3. maglinty Says:

    You’re obsessed.

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