Monday, August 12, 2013

Thomas Bewick improved wood engraving

It is the birthday of English engraver and naturalist Thomas Bewick (1753), who is remembered for pioneering a new technique of engraving boxwood across the grain that allowed for more detailed illustrations. His technique made wood engraving the printing method of choice for a hundred years. Bewick also wrote, illustrated and published A History of British Birds (two volumes, published in 1797 and 1804), the prototype of modern field guides. Bewick's shop also produced bookplates, letterhead stationery, shop advertising cards, and fine art prints. He illustrated Select Fables (1776) for bookseller/publisher Robert Dodsley and contributed to later volumes by Dodsley. He also published a three-volume The Fables of Aesop and Others (1818), using some of the earlier illustrations.

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