Bewick, Thomas

SUBJECT AREA: Paper and printing
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b. August 1753 Cherryburn House, Ovingham, Northumberland, England
d. 8 November 1828 Gateshead, England
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English perfecter of wood-engraving.
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The son of a farmer, Bewick was educated locally, but his progress was unremarkable save for demonstrating an intense love of nature and of drawing. In 1767 he was apprenticed to Ralph Beilby, an engraver in Newcastle. Wood-engraving at that time was at a low ebb, restricted largely to crude decorative devices, and Hogarth, commenting on a recent book on the art, doubted whether it would ever recover. Beilby's business was of a miscellaneous character, but Bewick's interest in wood-engraving was noticed and encouraged: Beilby submitted several of his engravings to the Royal Society of Arts, which awarded a premium of £80 for them. His apprenticeship ended in 1774 and he went to London, where he readily found employment with several printers. The call of the north was too strong, however, and two years later he returned to Newcastle, entering into partnership with Beilby. With the publication of Select Fables in 1784, Bewick really showed both his expertise in the art of wood-engraving as a medium for book illustration and his talents as an artist. His engravings for the History of British Birds mark the high point of his achievement. The second volume of this work appeared in 1804, the year in which his partnership with Beilby was dissolved.
The essential feature of Bewick's wood-engravings involved cutting across the grain of the wood instead of along it, as in the old woodcut technique. The wood surface thus obtained offered a much more sensitive medium for engraving than before. It paved the way for the flowering of engraving on wood, and then on steel, for the production of illustrated material for an ever wider public through the Victorian age.
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Bibliography
1864, Memoir of Thomas Bewick (autobiography, completed by his daughter). 1784, Select Fables.
Further Reading
M.Weekley, 1963, Thomas Bewick, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
LRD

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bewick, Thomas — born Aug. 12, 1753, Cherryburn, Eng. died Nov. 8, 1828, Gateshead British wood engraver. At age 14 he was apprenticed to a metal engraver, with whom he later went into partnership in Newcastle; Bewick remained there most of his life. He… …   Universalium

  • Bewick, Thomas — (12 ago. 1753, Cherryburn, Inglaterra–8 nov. 1828, Gateshead). Xilógrafo británico. A los 14 años fue aprendiz de un grabador en metal, con quien se asoció después en Newcastle. Bewick permaneció ahí la mayor parte de su vida. Redescubrió la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • BEWICK, THOMAS —    a distinguished wood engraver, born in Northumberland, apprenticed to the trade in Newcastle; showed his art first in woodcuts for his History of Quadrupeds, the success of which led to the publication of his History of British Birds, in which …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Thomas Bewick — Thomas Bewick, né en août 1753 à Cherryburn près de Newcastle upon Tyne dans le Northumberland et mort le 8 novembre 1828, est un graveur et un ornithologue britannique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Thomas Bewick — Thomas Bewick. Thomas Bewick (agosto de 1753 † 8 de noviembre de 1828) fue un ornitólogo y grabador en madera inglés. Bewick nació en Cherryburn, Northumberland, cerca de Newcastle upon Tyne. Su padre arrendaba una pequeña mina de carbón en… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Bewick — Thomas Bewick Schleiereule, in: History of British Birds (1847) Thomas Bewick (* vermutlich am 10. August …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • BEWICK (T.) — BEWICK THOMAS (1753 1828) Graveur à Newcastle, Bewick est l’un des «pères» du livre illustré romantique. Il a mis en valeur et fait reconnaître la validité de la technique du bois de bout: la plaque faite d’aubier de buis est coupée… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Thomas Bewick — [Thomas Bewick] (1753–1828) an English artist who worked mainly in book illustration. He brought a new realistic style to the art of ↑engraving (= cutting designs on metal, and then printing from it.). He is especially famous for his pictures of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Thomas — Thomas, Albert Thomas, André Antoine Thomas, Ch. L. Ambroise Thomas, Dylan Thomas, Sidney Gilchrist Thomas, Theodore * * * (as used in expressions) Adès, Thomas …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Thomas Bewick — Infobox Person | name = Thomas Bewick other names = birth date = August 1753 birth place = Mickley, Northumberland, England death date = death date|1828|11|8|mf=y death place = Gateshead, Durham, England occupation = Wood engraver Ornithologist… …   Wikipedia

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