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Art in Scotland
Chapter XI


IN tracing the development of the art of engraving in Scotland, it is needless to advert to the investigations which have been made as to the precise date of its invention, further than the fact that it has been traced back to about the middle of the fifteenth century. The art of course had been long practised in the south before it made any progress in Scotland, where it may fairly be assumed as rising into prominence about the middle of the seventeenth century, in the second half of which occur the names of William Elder and John Clarke. Regarding Clarke, Walpole mentions him as working at Edinburgh, where he executed two profile heads in medal of William and Mary, the Prince and Princess of Orange, dated 1690, and prints of Sir Matthew Hale, George Baron de Goertz (in concert with Pine), Dr Humphrey Prideaux, a plate with seven small heads of Charles II. and his Queen, Prince Rupert, the Duke of Monmouth, and General Monk. From the nature of the works and the fact that Walpole mentions another John Clarke who lived in Gray's Inn, it may be assumed that the Scottish engraver wrought mostly in London. It is also more certain that Elder wrought in London in the latter part of the century, and was, like Clarke, chiefly employed on heads for the booksellers, one of which of himself has been reproduced in wood in Walpole's 'Anecdotes.' That author mentions as his best plate that of Ben Jonson, and also names his heads of Pythagoras, George Parker, Charles Snell (writing-master), Admiral Russell, and Judge Pollexfen.

For many years no work was produced by Scottish engravers of any consequence, and it was due to the settlement of Richard Cooper in Edinburgh early in the eighteenth century that the art began properly to assert itself, and from whose workshop emanated the justly celebrated Sir Robert Strange, one of the most distinguished engravers of the British school. It is not known when Cooper first settled in Edinburgh, but as his name appears as treasurer of the Academy of St Luke in 1729, he must have been then well known and occupying a good position.' Strange was born in 1721, and came of a long pedigree, which he traced back to John Strang of Balcaskie in the fourteenth century, when he came to establish a claim to armorial bearings on his promotion to knighthood. A native of Pomona in the Orkneys, he was at school in Kirkwall till the age of fourteen, during which he pursued his studies into the classics, without some smattering of which no Scottish youth was supposed to have been fairly educated. The death of his father compelled him to choose a profession early in life. The accident of his place of birth naturally induced a love for a seafaring life; an early faculty for drawing indicated some artistic profession; while his mother's desire and affection prevailed that he should follow the career of a lawyer, which his elder brother was then pursuing in Edinburgh. After serving for some time with an attorney in Kirkwall, he joined his brother in Edinburgh, but immediately prevailed on the latter to permit him to go to sea. The Alborough man-of-war being then at Leith, an arrangement was made that he should go on an experimental cruise. He accordingly sailed in the summer of 1734, returning some five months later heartily sick of the experiment. He now yielded to the persuasions of his brother that he should adhere to the legal profession; but drawing had too great a fascination for him to relish the dry work of copying out legal documents. lie was in consequence placed with Richard Cooper under an engagement for three years, during which he lived in Cooper's house, and under the supervision of that excellent man and artist. In the course of this time his brother died, and he made a short visit to the Orkneys to see his mother. During the visit there he continued his work on some of the plates for the Tables of Albinus, and on his return to Edinburgh resumed his service with Cooper till 1741, when the Rebellion began to ferment.

Soon after this he fell passionately in love with Miss Lumisden, sister of the secretary of Prince Charles, who made it a condition in the matrimonial engagement that he should take up arms in defence of the rights of the Prince. This condition made him a soldier in the cause, with which he probably had no deeper sympathy than gaining a wife of energy and worth to whom he was sincerely attached. After the defeat of the rebel army at Culloden, in which engagement he served as one of the corps called the Life Guards, he fled with the other refugees to the Highlands, where he had to endure the usual hardships which were experienced by his fellow-soldiers. Prior to this he had executed a half-length portrait of the Prince at Edinburgh. This was the first of his known works of any consequence. It is enclosed in a kind of cartouche or frame, not of very great excellence, besides being overcharged with allegory according to the fashion of the time, and is inscribed "A Paris, chez Chevreau, Rue St Jacques," probably a subsequent addition on its reissue in France.' His next known work was of a more dangerous kind, being a bank-note executed when the army was billeted about Inverness, for the Prince and his friends, from which he printed some impressions by means of a rude press made for the purpose by a Highland carpenter. These impressions he handed over to the Prince on the eve of the battle of Culloden, a graphic account of which he has left. Being thus seriously compromised with the cause, his personal safety was endangered, and it is related that on one occasion, when closely pursued, he suddenly dashed into the room where his betrothed was sewing, and found concealment under the expansive skirts of her hooped dress, while the soldiers unsuccessfully searched the house. At another time his life was again equally nearly endangered, when, in the capacity of aide-decamp, as he was riding along the shore, a bullet from a ship lying off the coast struck and bent his sword. After the pursuit had somewhat abated, he ventured to Edinburgh, where, soon growing tired of concealment and of earning a precarious livelihood by making drawings for his brother Jacobites, he was successful in obtaining a safe-conduct to London, having got married in 1747.

The next year was passed in London, where he lived under suspicion. The Inverness money had never been issued, and although his name was not included in the Bill of Attainder of 1746, neither was he specially excepted by the Act of Grace of the following year. He went to Rouen in 1748 in company with the Chevalier, remaining about a year studying and practising under Descamps, at whose academy he gained the first prize for drawing. It was in Rouen that he abandoned an intention which he had for some time entertained of following the art of miniature- painting, and in consequence proceeded to Paris, where he entered the atelier of the then popular Jacques Philippe le Bas, where it is said he became familiar with the use of the dry point, which he afterwards applied to his plates with so much advantage. During this time he did little work of any consequence, being fully occupied in studying and doing subordinate work for his master. The plate for a small vignette of the Death of the Stag, bearing his signature (1749), has been preserved: it is a copy from Le Bas, beautifully executed.' His earliest work of any importance executed in Paris is Wouvermans' Retour du March, which was followed by Vanloo's God of Love in 1750. In October of this year he ventured to London, where he resolved to settle in preference to Edinburgh, as being a better field for his work, as well as affording him access to a better class of pictures. His wife, who had seen little of him during the first four years of their married life, now joined him with their little daughter, and judging from her previous correspondence, had not abated in her Jacobite loyalty during her separation from her husband. Writing from Edinburgh, she tells him how cleverly their child, Mary Bruce, takes its pap, and "girns and makes faces whenever she hears the word Whig mentioned," and when mamma names the Prince, kisses her and looks at his picture. Money evidently was not too plentiful, as she writes that she is living in a pretty genteel house at the Cross, with an easily scaled stair, designing to make more than her rent for the hire of her five windows on the occasion of the Restoration:

Having now settled in apartments in Parliament Street, Strange set vigorously to work, and by correspondence with Mr Lumisden, his brother-in-law, at Rome, began to import numbers of engravings on commission or for speculative sale. He was then employed by Dr William Hunter on the illustrations for his work on the Gravid Uterus, which were executed by French artists under his supervision, and which appeared in The fourth and fifth sections of this work being particularly difficult, were executed by Strange's own hand. The drawings, now in the Hunterian Museum of Glasgow University, were made by Rymsdyk, and for his six months' labours Strange received a hundred pounds. In the following year, 1753, he issued his Cleopatra and Magdalene, after Guido, at four shillings each, and went to Paris in search of an assistant. On his return to London, he removed to the Golden Head in Henrietta Street, where he wrought for nearly eight years, in the course of which he made another visit to Paris, extending over about four months, which time he devoted to making drawings from pictures for the purpose of engraving from, and also collecting prints. He now produced many important works, and to this period may be attributed, among others, the Finding of Romulus and Remus, Csar repudiating Pompeia, Salvator Rosa's Belisarius, Vandyke's Three Children of Charles I.; and somewhat later, I)omenichino's St Agnes, Guido's Venus attired by the Graces, and the less successful Hercules tempted by Pleasure. The published prices of these ranged from seven shillings and sixpence to half a guinea, and some smaller subjects he sold for two shillings.

About this time Allan Ramsay, who had painted the portrait of the Prince of Wales, was desirous of having it engraved, and communicated with Strange for that purpose; but the latter was obliged to decline the commission on account of the insufficient remuneration which was offered for the work. Probably Ramsay thought that the credit of the employment would have induced Strange to abate his price to the extent of that which was offered; but however desirous the engraver might have been of standing well in the estimation of the reigning house, he had still to earn a living for himself and his family, and therefore did not feel warranted in accepting the offer. It was said that Ramsay imputed Strange's refusal to political feelings. Some sharp correspondence ensued without any satisfactory result, Lord Bute even slighting Strange when he attempted to exculpate himself from this charge. As the engraver was at this time enthusiastic and successful in following the branch of art to which he was so devoted, the nature of the work had little attraction for him, and his better sense may be assumed to have prevailed over sacrificing his temporary prospects to sympathy with the exiled Stuarts, as he had already dedicated some early English plates to the Princess of Wales, who had accepted many of his proofs, as had also the favourite Lord Bute.

His brother-in-law Mr Lumisden being still at Rome, adhering as secretary to Prince Charles, Strange now made a visit to Italy in 1760, leaving his wife and increasing family at home. Visiting Paris on the way, he was received with much distinction at Florence, where he made a careful drawing of Raphael's Madonna della Sedia, and some other works, most of which, including the Raphael, he did not live to engrave. Proceeding to Rome, through the influence of Prince Rezzonico, nephew of Pope Clement XIII., he was provided with an apartment in the palace, and also permitted to erect the necessary scaffolding while copying in the Vatican, after which he spent eight months in Naples, where he made a number of drawings, including those from Guido's Potiphar, Rubens' portraits of himself and Vandyke, and Titian's Dante. He now made a second visit to Florence on his home-journey, staying some four months, and was on friendly terms with the tasteful Marquis Gerini and the Infant Duke Don Philip, to the latter of whom he presented a set of his prints, receiving in recognition through the hands of that nobleman's minister a gold snuff-box, and a shell set in the same precious metal to the value of ninety-five louis d'ors. From Bologna, where his visit was protracted on account of obstacles thrown in the way of his work through the jealousy of Bartolozzi and others, he returned home to his anxious wife, whose health was causing him some uneasiness.

Immediately after his return to England he received many high distinctions as the result of his Italian visit. In 1763 he was elected a member of the Academy of St Luke at Rome, at a meeting of that distinguished body which was presided over by Mauro Fontana, the eminent Piranesi at the same time pronouncing an eloquent eulogy on the Scottish engraver. Within the same year, the Prince Lichtenstein sent him a gold medal bearing his portrait, in a gold case, through the hands of Mr Lumisden. The latter, in remitting him his Roman diploma, wrote that he would soon require a - chest to hold his presents and diplomas, the latter being then also conferred upon him by the academies at Florence and other Italian cities. He had also the distinction of being the first British subject received into the Art Academy at Paris in 1764, at which date he executed his plates from Raphael's Justice and Meekness. While thus receiving distinctions and honours abroad, he did not find anything like encouragement and fair treatment from his professional brethren in London, where the artists caballed against him, and had his works very unfairly treated at the Royal Academy, which had then received its charter. The Academy at that time excluded all engravers from its ranks in face of the protests of its president, Sir Benjamin West; and in fact, engravers were not admitted till 1853. Strange, naturally sensitive and touchy, with some justice thought that much personal animus existed against him, as in addition to the coldness of Lord Bute, he had the mortification of seeing Bartolozzi admitted a member as a painter, who was decidedly his inferior as an artist.

Meanwhile he laboured on with his old enthusiasm at his art, and added to his income, which was never very high, by selling some of his drawings as well as his prints, buying pictures on commission for various gentlemen, including his friend Dr William Hunter, and exhibiting his pictures collected abroad with the aid of Mr Lumisden. He had sale exhibitions for three successive years, terminating in 1771, and at this time he produced his masterly engraving of Charles I. after Vandyke, followed next year by his St Cecilia after Raphael, and his St Jerome after Correggio, published at one guinea each.

As already hinted, Strange was somewhat sensitive, and perhaps given to making too much of what he sometimes supposed personal animosity—a state of feeling naturally engendered by any one following an absorbing, solitary profession. In 1775 he published a pamphlet entitled, 'An Enquiry into the Rise and Establishment of the Royal Academy of Arts,' preceded by a long dedicatory letter to Lord Bute, in which he narrated the transaction with Ramsay regarding the portrait of the Prince of Wales, and also referring to Dalton and Bartolozzi. The only criticism which this gave rise to was a couple of columns in the 'Morning Post,' containing so much ill-nature, and full of such bad taste, that Strange with his family spent the next five years in Paris, where they resided in the old Rue d'Enfer. During this time, among his other works he engraved Guercino's Queen of Carthage on the Funeral Pile, Guido's Cleopatra, Titian's Venus and Adonis, and Correggio's Magdalene.

His labours afterwards were pursued partly in London and partly in Paris, and he now began to experience something like goodwill on the part of the reigning family, which was probably due to his engraving from President West's picture of the Apotheosis of the Children of George III. Proofs of this work he pre- sented to the king, who at once conferred on him the honour of knighthood, a dignity which afforded no little pride to the artist's Jacobite wife. His last work was his own portrait in medallion form from a drawing by Greuze, which completed his series of forty-nine finished plates. During the last four years of his life he suffered from a chest complaint, the result of the nature of his work, sometimes relieving his attempts to resume the graver in Paris by intervals of rest at Bristol and Margate—and died in London on the 5th July 1792. Previous to his death he had been vainly trying to finish his plate of the picture of the Assumption by Murillo, one of the great attractions of the Louvre, being his fiftieth. His wife survived him about fourteen years, and their daughter Mary, who inherited some of her father's talent, preceded him to the grave in 1784. After his death a number of impressions were taken from all his plates, when the whole were destroyed, with the exception of that of Charles I. in his robes, which was mutilated, and several small plates on copper left in possession of his family.1 He was an early member of the Society of Scottish Antiquaries.

The works of this eminent engraver will always hold a high position in an art which may now be said to be dead. He is often accused of inferior draughtsmanship, but this will hardly be borne out if we compare his best works with those of other engravers of his time. He wrought entirely in line, with great clearness and precision, and was eminently successful in giving the quality of flesh by the admirable arrangement of his lines and a judicious use of the dry point. In these respects he is unsurpassed, and stands as strongly opposed to such engravers as Wille as it is possible, never allowing mechanical dexterity to arrest the attention, at the expense of good taste and modesty of execution.

[A few years previous to his death, he had carefully selected eighty copies of his most choice impressions and bound them in as many folio volumes. To each volume he prefixed two portraits of himself on the same plate, an etching and a finished proof. Each volume contained a dedication to the king and an introductory notice on the progress of the art, with critical remarks on the pictures reproduced. Having made a small collection of paintings in Italy, he published a Catalogue Raisonné of them in 1760. At the end of the latter he added a list of twenty-seven engravings, and the prices he fixed upon them amounted in the whole to only £9 11s. Fifty-five years afterwards, at the sale of Sir M. Al. Sykes, 1824, thirty-five proof impressions of Strange's engraving produced no less a sum than £190, 13s. 6d. The print which so greatly enhanced this sum was a portrait of Charles I. standing in his robes, after Vandyke—a choice proof before any letter. Note under the print, "Given me by the most excellent engraver thereof, M. Al. S." So great was the competition that it was sold for £51, 9s.—(Walpole's Anecdotes, vol. iii. P. 265, ed. 1876.) A full margin proof of the latter plate was sold at Christie's in 1857 for £44 and at the same time a proof, first state, of Charles I. and his Equerry, after Vandyke, sold for £19.]

Of the Scottish engravers who practised in the eighteenth century, very few rose to eminence or produced works of any importance. Joshua Campbell, who was in practice in 1746, has left a water-colour portrait of Duncan Forbes of Culloden, preserved in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and is principally known as the engraver of some plates after Rembrandt. Reference has already been made to the engraving of David Allan and others emanating from the Foulises' academy in Glasgow, and also to the mezzotints of David Martin the painter. Although by far the greatest of the Scottish engravers, Strange practised too much in England to have any influence on the culture of the art in his native land, except in creating enthusiasm and emulation on the part of some of his countrymen.

At the bench of Strange's master at a later period, Andrew Bell learned the practice of his art, and, as the original projector and proprietor of the four or five first editions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica,' greatly advanced the art of engraving in Scotland. Previous to the year 1800, the art as practised there was of no great excellence, but to this enterprising man, who possessed tolerable skill as an artist, admirable tact as a man of business, and the merit of recognising and rearing up a number of talented young men as apprentices (some of whom afterwards went to London and adorned the publications there with works equal in merit to any of their rivals), we owe the first great impetus which was given to the art in the Scottish capital. His book illustrations are very numerous, and characterised by good taste. His wife was a daughter of John Scougal the painter, and he died at Lauriston on the xoth June 1809, at the advanced age of eighty-three.

Among the other pupils of Andrew Bell whose lots were cast in Edinburgh, was Francis Legat, who died early in life, on the 4th of April 1809. His works, although neither very numerous nor large, show indications of sufficient talent to entitle him to a place among the Scottish engravers of his time. His principal plates are, the Continence of Scipio, after Poussin; a Scene from "Hamlet," after West; a Scene from "King Lear," after Barry (the two latter engraved for Boydell's 'Shakespeare'), and Gavin Hamilton's Mary Queen of Scots resigning her Crown. Although trained under Bell, the influence of Strange is perceptible in Legat's work, which is notable for a high degree of careful finish.

Worthy of notice, if for no other reason than being the master of Robert Scott, is Alexander Robertson, who etched some of the illustrations in the early 'Scots Magazine' from drawings by Clerk of Eldin. He was working in the latter part of the century, and being a kind of musician in his way, left his bench daily at one o'clock for the upper chamber of St Giles's steeple, where, in his official capacity of bell-ringer, he treated the citizens of Auld Reekie to such lively airs as "Hey, Johnny Cope," and other melodies. The afternoons of the artist were not unfrequently spent in some place of public resort, during which time his pupil Scott had the privilege of working at the one window which lighted the workroom, instead of engraving in the passage. Robert Scott, whose forebears are particularly specified in the memoirs of his gifted son David, was born in 1777, and at the age of ten, in consequence of an aptitude for copying Hogarth's and suchlike engravings, was apprenticed for five years with Robertson. He was almost exclusively employed on book illustrations, among the earliest of which are some views about Edinburgh engraved for Dr Anderson's "Bee." After his marriage in 1800, he took up housekeeping in the Parliament Stairs, overlooking the roof of St Giles's Church. His workshop9 had only two windows; a worktable ran midway along these supported by brackets, thus enabling each window to accommodate two tenants, the uppermost of whom were perched on chairs nearly six feet high. He also kept printing. presses, his principal customer being Mosely, a Gainsborough publisher. Among the anecdotes relating to the Edinburgh artists of the time, it is told of Scott that in contemplation of getting up a work on natural history in emulation of that of Bewick, he applied to his friend Thomas Campbell, then a student in Edinburgh, to aid him by writing the manuscript. The latter being very slow in making its appearance, the patience of Scott got exhausted, and he went to Campbell's lodgings one evening, where he found him absent. He began to collect the books which he had put into Campbell's hands for the purpose, and found one of them - Bewick's Birds—so sadly dilapidated, that the landlady had to volunteer the explanation, "That's the book Mr Camel lichts his candle wi' when he comes hame at nicht." Scott's pupils included William Douglas, F. R. Hay, John Burnet, Thomas Brown, James Stewart, and J. Horsburgh, in the order here mentioned. The first of these, besides engraving, practised successfully and well as a miniature-painter. Brown left engraving on receiving a captain's commission, and is known by his writings on natural history. James Stewart was of more note in his day, and particularly distinguished himself by a masterly engraving in line from Sir William Allan's picture of Tartars dividing Spoil, and also some of Wilkie's works. He studied under Graham at the Trustees' Academy, was one of the early Scottish Academicians, and painted some good domestic pictures, one of which, the Stirrup-Cup, is favourably noticed in the 'Noctes Ambrosian.'' He went to the Cape of Good Hope, where he became a sheep farmer and magistrate, dying in 1863 at the age of seventy-two. Contemporaneous with Scott was Edward Mitchell, the engraver of Northcote's Death of Sir Ralph Abercromby, who trained the stipple engraver Walker, known chiefly by his portraits of the Rev. J. Grey after Douglas, and Raeburn's Rev. Andrew Thomson.

Towards the close of the century one of the centres of attraction to the loungers of the Parliament Close in Edinburgh was a small print-shop in Parliament Square, the window of which displayed a large assortment of dry, stiffly drawn and etched portraits of the notables of the city, often so ludicrously like the originals as to verge on caricatures, for which indeed some of them seemed really intended. The proprietor of the establishment was the well-known John Kay (born April 1742, died 1830), the son of a stone-mason of Gibraltar, near Dalkeith, which trade John was also intended to follow. On account of the death of his father, he was taken charge of in his eighth year by his mother's relations in Leith, with whom he spent five unhappy years, after which he was apprenticed for other six to a Dalkeith barber. On the termination of his apprenticeship, and after paying forty pounds to the Society of Surgeon Barbers for the necessary permission, he started business on his own account, keeping the outside of the heads of the Edinburgh gentlemen in order at the rate of four guineas per annum. Among the many other peculiar individuals at that time in the city was Mr Nisbet of Dirleton, an old Jacobite gentleman, who enjoyed Kay's society so much that he often took him away from his business into the country, with the natural result that John's customers carried their wigs to other dressers. His sketches at this time consisted of horses, dogs, shipping, &c., with some efforts at small heads. Having in the meantime got married, a rapidly increasing family added to his embarrassments, which were partly relieved by assistance from Mr Nisbet, who died in 1782, when that gentleman's heir generously settled a small annuity of twenty pounds on Kay. Two years afterwards his trade was quite gone, and the general appreciation of a caricature of a half-crazed eccentric old Jacobite named Laird Robertson led him into this line, in the practice of which he etched nearly nine hundred plates of the public characters of Edinburgh, and numerous local incidents. His works, which are mostly small, are utterly destitute of any art, but have the merit of faithful likenesses, with the gait and peculiarities of his subjects. So early as 1792 he had some thought of publishing his prints in a collected form. With this object he had drawn up a few notes intended for the literary portion of the work, but the want of means prevented him carrying out his idea. The plates were sold by his widow's trustees, and published by Paton in 1842, twelve years after his death. An incident related by Chambers gives an idea of the character of the man: A very ill-looking person, much pimpled in the face from the effects of too frequent an application to the bottle, called in company with his betrothed to have his portrait drawn by Kay. In vain the draughtsman tried to please the amorous pair by a likeness which would not too plainly tell the habits of the individual. On the appeal of the sitter to his fair companion as to where the defect lay, Kay declared with an execration that he would "paint every plook in the puppy's face, if that would please him. A profile of himself, executed in 1785, shows a handsome aquiline countenance with a delicate and ingenious expression; and in his latter days he is described as a slender straight old man of simple habits, and quiet unassuming manners, who could settle at nothing but etching likenesses.

Among the minor engravers in Edinburgh, John Beugo (born 179, died 1841) distinguished himself in the art both in line and stipple. He was an intimate friend of Robert Burns, and is well known as the engraver of Nasmyth's portrait of the poet, during the execution of which he had the advantage of sittings from the original: it was published in the Edinburgh edition of the poems in 1787. A number of small book illustrations of landscape and other subjects were executed in his workshop, but his own practice was mostly confined to portraits, among which are those of Dr Adam Ferguson after Reynolds, David Martin's Dr Cullen, Rae- burn's Dr Spens in the costume of the Scottish Archers, and the Earl of Denbigh after Vandyke's portrait in the Hamilton Palace collection. He published anonymously in 1797, 'Poetry, Miscellaneous and Dramatic, by an Artist,' and had the credit of training Robert C. Bell, who afterwards rose into eminence.

A much greater artist, however, who, as already said, left the bench of Robert Scott, was John Burnet. Born at Fisherrow on the 20th of March 1784, he early imbibed a love for drawing from his father, and also from his mother, who was a sister of William Cruickshanks, the friend of Dr Johnson and Sir Joshua Reynolds. He was a student at the Trustees' Academy along with Wilkie and William Allan, and went to London a year after the former, where he arrived in possession of only a few shillings and an impression from one of his illustrations to Cooke's Novelists, as a specimen of his work. His first engravings in London consisted of a continuation of the Cooke series, and several plates for Britton and Brayley's 'England and Wales,' Mrs Inchbald's 'British Theatre,' &c. His works soon brought him into notice, and his first plate of comparatively large size was from Wilkie's Jew's Harp, which brought him the acquaintance of the eminent English engraver \V. Sharp. His second plate, which was of unusual excellence, was from the same artist's Blind Fiddler, commenced when he was barely twenty-five years of age. As this contained a larger proportion of cutting than etching, it is said to have had very considerable influence in inducing the London engravers to return to the bolder style of the art, over which the more highly finished manner of Heath had for some years prevailed. According to his own statement, this work was based upon the style of Cornelius Vischer of Haarlem, while the previous plate was based upon that of Philippe le Bas. In consequence of the unfavourable terms offered by Wilkie, he was obliged to decline undertaking the engraving of the Village Politicians, which was taken up by Rairnbach, in whose favour, it was afterwards found, Wilkie had considerably modified his terms. [Burnet was not so very generously treated by Wilkie as is often supposed. Judging from an autograph letter in possession of Mr Gibson of Glasgow, Wilkie was inclined to drive rather a hard bargain with Burnet.] His subsequent works after Wilkie were, Reading the Will, Chelsea Pensioners reading the Gazette after the Battle of Waterloo, the Rabbit on the Wall, the Letter of Introduction, Village School, Death of Tippoo Saib, &c.

After the peace, he spent about five months in Paris studying in the Louvre, and from this period of study mainly resulted the publication of the first of his popular series of handbooks upon art. His 'Practical Hints on Painting,' which passed through several editions, was followed by his 'Light and Shade and the Principles of Composition,' the 'Education of the Eye,' 'Letters on Landscape Painting and the Principles of Portrait Painting,' and 'Turner and his Works.' In addition to these, he illustrated a volume on Rembrandt, wrote several essays on art, and in 1854 published the 'Progress of a Painter,' being a portion of his autobiography, in which the hero of the story, a Mr Knox, represented as a young gentleman from Edinburgh related to his wife, is in reality his younger brother James.

When John Burnet first entered upon his career in London, mezzotint was ably represented by Earlom, and a mixture of this and line was becoming popular. In order to preserve the purer style of the art thus being endangered, some nine of the leading engravers in London combined with the object of engraving in line a selection of the pictures in the National Gallery. This movement, unfortunately for the glory of the art, was not followed up. Burnet, who had joined it, engraved the Jew, the Nativity, and the Crucifixion, after Rembrandt, having previously executed the same master's Salutation of the Virgin, and Metzu's Letter-Writer for Foster's British Gallery. It has also to be noted that he was a painter of very great talent, and but for his fame as an engraver, would in this respect be better known and appreciated. In 18o8, his picture of the Draught-Players was exhibited at the Royal Academy. This he subsequently engraved, and also his much more important picture of the Greenwich Pensioners, executed as a companion to Wilkie's similar Chelsea subject. The last five or six years of his life were passed in seclusion in his house in Victoria Road, Stoke-Newington, where he died on the 29th April 1868, in his eighty-fifth year.

Among the Scottish engravers living at the beginning of the present century was Daniel Lizars, a pupil of Andrew Bell, who executed some good portraits, and died in 1812. Regarding his son, William Home Lizars, it is somewhat difficult to say whether he should rank as a painter or an engraver. Nature and his own predilection inclined him to the former profession, but force of circumstances and a sense of duty compelled him to the latter. He was born in 1788, the eldest of a large family, educated at the High School, and entered his father's workshop in his fourteenth year. Like Burnet, he was a fellow-student with Wilkie at the Trustees' Academy, and early took to painting portraits and domestic subjects. His Reading the Will, and a Scotch Wedding, were both exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1812, and are now in the Scottish National Gallery. The Wedding was engraved by Turner. Next to Wilkie, he was perhaps the most talented of all the painters of domestic life in Scotland in his time. His Scotch Wedding, precise in touch, sparkling in colour, well drawn and full of character, is a picture which would still hold its place in any exhibition. On the left-hand side of the picture the wine is passing freely, and the blushing bride reaches her glass across the table to touch that of the bridegroom, surrounded by their relations. Prominent in a group in the middle of the picture, an old woman is being pressed to drink, evidently fearing to decline it too decidedly. Another group is engaged in dancing in the farther part of the room, the music being supplied by a fiddler perched Dutchwise on a barrel, close to which an old sot has been indulging in the mountain-dew to such an extent that he has landed backwards on the floor in company with a table and its contents. The vulgarity of the subject and the incidents introduced, however, are lost sight of in the artistic treatment and nicety of execution, in which respects it might rank with the works of Steen. His Reading the Will, while inferior to the latter, being rather cold and hard, besides being executed with much less precision, is full of the character, incident, and expression to be expected on such a momentous occasion. Many of the heads, however, are good in all respects. The Royal Scottish Academy possesses an Interior of a Church, and a Cathedral Interior with figures. These were long lost sight of by the artist, and were discovered by a friend in a broker's shop in the Cowgate, where Lizars redeemed them for five pounds.

On his father's death, a widow was left with ten children to be supported by a somewhat embarrassed business, and William, as the main prop of the family, was obliged to leave the easel for the bench, in order that the engraving business might be carried on for their support. This duty he undertook and carried out with great energy and decision of character. He distinguished himself by numerous engravings for publications, of which his Crichton Castle in the 'Provincial Antiquities of Scotland' is a favourable example. A portrait of 1)r Morris in 'Peter's Letters to his Kinsfolk' is an example of a discovery he made in engraving, from which great results were expected. It is inscribed "Engraved in alto-relievo by W. Lizars," and is a copperplate engraving so treated as to print at the common printing-press. In the preface, referring to this frontispiece, the author says: "I had a note from Sir Joseph Banks a day or two ago, in which he says a great deal about a new invention of Mr Lizars, which he thinks is the greatest thing that has occurred in engraving since the time of Albert Durer." The engraving and printing business was long and successfully carried on in Edinburgh, and the able and ingenious artist died at Jedburgh on the 3oth of March 1859, at the age of seventy-one.

Walter Geikie was born in 1795, seven years later than Lizars, and like the latter, divided his attention between the copperplate and the canvas. He was the son of a perfumer in Edinburgh, and when under two years of age was affected by a nervous fever which completely destroyed his speech and hearing. Having early in life shown some aptitude for art, his father placed him under Patrick Gibson, and afterwards at the classes in the Trustees' Academy; but as too often happens in the cases of mutes, he failed to develop any of the higher qualities which are so necessary to constitute an artist. He painted and exhibited a number of pictures in Edinburgh, of which the Scottish National Gallery possesses his Cottage Door—a husband and wife with their first child seated outside a cottage porch, surrounded by a group of figures, of fair execution and colour. He is mostly known by his etchings of homely and picturesque scenes, to which he early turned his attention. They are not of a very high class, and were issued in a collected form some five years after his death, accompanied with a biography by Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, and letterpress by various writers. These consist for the most part of humorous and characteristic subjects, the material for which he found abundantly in the streets and suburbs of Edinburgh and places of resort, often making a sketch while walking alongside his unconscious model. An anecdote is related of one of the individuals who makes a conspicuous figure in some of his etchings. This was a pot-bellied porter who used to be seen about the Grassmarket, whose protruding nether lip and upturned nose gave him a droll air of vulgar importance which Geikie found irresistible. Day after day he haunted his victim, waiting an opportunity; but the porter no sooner caught a glance of the sketch-book than he slunk away among a crowd, shifting uneasily from place to place as he saw Geikie prowling after him, ready to take advantage of an unguarded moment for his fell purpose. One day this continued till the market began to thin away, when concealment became less possible, and the angry porter, exasperated by the persecution of the young artist, opened a volley of language more expressive than polite, which his tormentor of course could not hear, but could not fail to understand what was meant by the shaking of the mutton fist and the threatening attitude, which only further excited his enthusiasm. Regardless of the consequences, Geikie still attempted to use his pencil, which so exasperated the porter that he made a rush at the artist. The latter being by far the lighter of the two, made a rapid retreat, and renewed his task while his victim was advancing, but soon found that it was impossible to obtain a sketch in this manner, and after several trials, finding the porpoise getting dangerously near, made a bolt up a common stair, which the porter fancied led to his domicile. Although he seemed to have defeated the first intention, the spirit of revenge was aroused, and puffing and blowing till he could regain his lost breath, he determined to wait till the young artist should emerge from what after all might be only a place of concealment. Geikie meantime, from an old dirty window in the staircase, had a full view of his model, whom he soon transferred to his sketch-book; and then hour after hour passed away before he could venture out of his refuge, as the grim Cerberus kept watch till either his patience became exhausted, or the thought occurred to him that he might be thus losing a more profitable job, when he slowly moved off muttering threats of future vengeance.' Geikie was of an amiable and ingenious temperament, and his short life was brought to a close by the concealment of a disorder till it had gone too far to render a cure possible. He first exhibited in the Edinburgh Exhibition of 1815, and was a frequent and prolific contributor to the early exhibitions of the Academy, to the first of which in 1827 he sent five works, and was elected an associate in 1831 three years afterwards he was promoted to the rank of full Academician, dying on the 1st of August 1837.

An artist of somewhat the same kind as Kay, was Benjamin W. Crombie, born in Edinburgh on the 19th of July 1803, the son of a solicitor, and who also exhibited in some of the early exhibitions of the Academy. About the year 1832, he lithographed and published two prints which had a large sale, and are still at times to be met with in out-of-the-way places, consisting of twelve heads representative of the pulpit and the bar. He practised the art of miniature-painting, but is best known by his series of forty-eight etched plates, each containing two subjects, which were executed between the years 1837 and 1847. In these the leading men of Edinburgh are etched in a free and clever manner, tinted with colour, and were published between 1839 and 1851, and reissued in 1882 under the title of ' Modern Athenians.

John Horsburgh, already mentioned as a pupil of Robert Scott, rapidly took a good position in his art, and distinguished himself among other works by his portraits of Bailie Nicol Jarvie after Sir William Allan, Sir Walter Scott after Raeburn and Lawrence (the latter for the 'Art Journal' of 188), Taylor's disputed portrait of Burns for the Royal Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland; Prince Charles reading a Dispatch, after Simpson, for the Glasgow Art Union; Innes's Italian Shepherds; and several plates from Turner, including that artist's vignette to the illustrated edition of Scott. He was a minister of the original Baptist Church in Edinburgh for thirty-seven years, and died on the 25th September 1869, in his seventy-ninth year.

Daniel Somerville was one of the early Scottish painter-engravers who lived in Edinburgh early in the present century, where he died in 1833. He was a member of the Scottish Academy, and painted some humorous scenes of rural life, politicians, &c., much in the prevailing style of his period. His most important painting was a Wedding Scene in the Hebrides, and the Scottish Gallery contains a small picture of two children with a dog, painted in a free manner, with a good tone of warm colour. He is known as an engraver by several vignettes and book plates executed in a fine clear style, and he also did some wood-engraving. He had a considerable reputation in his day for drawings of landscapes, portraits, and small figures in pencil.

The well-known engraver William Howison was born in Edinburgh in 1798, educated in Heriot's Hospital, and apprenticed to Mr Wilson, an engraver. His abilities were first recognised by D. 0. Hill, when Sir George Harvey employed him on the important plate of his Curlers, which was so successful that he was elected an Associate of the Scottish Academy. His succeeding works were Sir William Allan's Polish Exiles, Harvey's Covenanters' Communion and Schule Skailin, and Faed's First Letter from the Emigrants, engraved for the Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland. His death occurred while engaged on the last- mentioned plate, which he did not live to finish, in the year 1851. At the time of his death the 'Scotsman' newspaper mentioned him as "a man of strong native sense, integrity, honour, and insight into many things besides engraving. We never met with a finer embodiment of the sturdy, the hearty, and the tender virtues of a Scottish craftsman."

The art has been worthily carried on by many excellent engravers born within the present century, accounts of whom and their works might be largely extended, but which would form little else than an uninteresting enumeration of names and dates. Chief among these, now deceased, were Robert Charles Bell (1806-1872), trained under Beugo, and the engraver of many fine plates after Wilkie, Sir William Allan, Raeburn, Watson Gordon, Harvey, &c.; William Miller, who died at Sheffield in 1887, at the advanced age of eighty-six, whose very magnificent reproductions of Turner's works have in all their finest qualities been unapproached by any other engraver; the veteran John Leconte, who also died in 1887, and who in his early days was equally talented as a painter as well as an engraver; Francis Croll, who died at the early age of twenty- seven, in the year 1854; and the eminent William Forrest, who has done for M'Culloch what Miller did for Turner.

Previous to the year 1790, there were only about two or three engravers on copper in Edinburgh, and about as many workers in silver and other metals; fifty years later, there were as many as eighty-five engravers, counting masters and journeymen. The freer use of steel instead of copperplate after 1825, no doubt had much to do with this increase, as the art became more valuable for book illustrative purposes in consequence. With regard to the latter class of work in x800, three or four guineas was considered a fair price for octavo vignettes; in 1845, fifty to eighty guineas have been given to Edinburgh engravers by London publishers for similar-sized plates, but of course the quality of the work was beyond all comparison.' To the Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland is due the credit of having afforded the Scottish engravers an opportunity of showing their skill in the many large and fine works which that body have issued to their subscribers.

An artist in another branch of engraving not usually considered as one of the fine arts, deserves mention on account of his great ingenuity—William Berry (born about 1730, died 3d June 1783). He learned his art of seal-engraving under a Mr Proctor at Edinburgh, and began business on his own account at the termination of his apprenticeship, soon distinguishing himself for the elegance of his designs, and the clearness and sharpness of his mode of cutting. At this time the business of a stone-engraver in the Scottish capital was exclusively confined to the cutting of ordinary seals, the most elaborate forms of which consisted of armorial bearings. For some years he confined his labours to this class of work, but by studying some antique intaglios, ventured into that higher walk of art. His first attempt was a head of Sir Isaac Newton, remarkable for precision and delicacy, followed some time afterwards by heads of the poet Thomson, Queen Mary, Oliver Cromwell, Julius Csar, a young Hercules, and Hamilton of Bangour, two of which were copied from the antique. His own modesty and feeling of imperfection of his work, besides its unremunerative nature, gave him unfortunately an aversion to the pursuit of this higher class of art, and during this time he mostly applied himself to its ordinary practice on seals. His works, however, gradually came to be known and appreciated by some distinguished cognoscenti, many of whom ranked him above the Roman Piccler; but each of these artists, on seeing specimens, pronounced the other his superior. Altogether he did not do above a dozen heads, in addition to some full-length figures of men and animals remarkable for their elegance. Of his modesty and skill, an anecdote is related to the effect that Henry, Duke of Buccleuch, on succeeding to the title and, estates, was desirous of having a seal cut with the full quarterings of his arms. As the ancestral quarterings numbered no less than thirty-two, besides supporters, &c., he found it difficult to get executed within the ordinary size, and the work was declined for this reason by the principal seal-engravers in London and Paris. A gentleman having mentioned Berry to the Duke, he accompanied the latter to the engraver, and without introducing him, showed Berry the impression of a seal which the Dowager-Duchess had got cut by a Jew in London, then dead, and which had been shown to the other engravers as a pattern. Berry undertook to do the work, and misinterpreting a remark made by the Duke, turned to him a little nettled and said, "If I do not make a better seal than this, I will charge no payment for it." The seal in proper time was finished, and not only excelled the pattern in workmanship, but had in addition the lines indicating the various colours of the fields and bearings. For this work he only charged thirty-two guineas, which was less than half the cost of the pattern he excelled. Although possessed of talents unequalled in their kind in Britain, an industrious worker and economical liver, he died in far from affluent circumstances, and left a numerous family. His character in private life is said to have been as amiable and unassuming as his talents were great.' A portrait of him was executed in 1765 by William Delacour, and engraved in the 'Bee' 1793, from a copy by Skirving. The drawing by Skirving is in the Scottish National Gallery.


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