Cloth $65.00 ISBN: 9781780231099 Published December 2013 For sale in North and South America only

The Art of Thomas Bewick

Diana Donald

Diana Donald

Distributed for Reaktion Books

328 pages | 60 color plates, 150 halftones | 7 1/2 x 9 4/5 | © 2013
Cloth $65.00 ISBN: 9781780231099 Published December 2013 For sale in North and South America only
The Art of Thomas Bewick is the first book to interpret the art of the wood engraver Thomas Bewick (1753–1828) and set it in the context of history, revealing the connections between Bewick’s political and religious views—reflections of the late eighteenth-century Enlightenment—and the character of his images.
Bewick was both an important contributor to the history of British ornithology and a highly original artist and printmaker. His depictions of the natural world, particularly of British birds, set new standards of realism and authenticity, while his graphic scenes of country life were unparalleled in their thoughtfulness, mingling humor and tragedy. His lively depictions of dogs, horses and other animals can also be seen as the expression of a new insight and sensibility: part of the growing movement for the prevention of cruelty to animals.
Allowing Bewick’s art to be viewed in a broad context of the artistic and scientific culture of his age, this lavishly illustrated book will appeal to naturalists, especially ornithologists and birdwatchers; historians of science, art and country life; those interested in the history of animal rights and protection; and students of painting and print media. 
William Vaughan, University of London
“This is a first-rate study on Bewick and on his impact in the nineteenth century both as a naturalist and as a wood engraver. Diana Donald is well known for her major contributions to the history of graphic art and to the interrelation between the visual arts and scientific enquiry in the nineteenth century. She draws on both these strengths here to produce a study of major importance that will surely help to reestablish Bewick as a figure of central cultural importance.”



Introduction: The Man Behind the Books


1: ‘Truth is to bend to nothing, but all to her’:

Bewick as a Naturalist


2: ‘Endless conjectures’:

Bewick’s Tail-pieces


3: A Mind ‘impressed with the feelings of humanity’:

Bewick’s Scenes of Animal Life


4: ‘Know your Bewick’:

The Victorian Inheritance


Appendix 1: A Commentary on Bewick’s Representation of Species in A History of British Birds


Appendix 2: Bewick’s Workshop, and the Role of the Apprentices


Sources Cited



Photographic Acknowledgements



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