Thomas Bewick

1753-1828

Thomas Bewick's name is synonymous with the development of the art of wood engraving. Bewick's early work as an artist and craftsman with wood blocks led him to experiment with cutting designs in hard wood, rather than the soft woods used for woodcuts.

Bewick discovered that as fine a detail could be achieved with hard wood as with metal. Bewick drew his original designs directly on the wood, preparing them specifically to make the most effective use of the material. There was no intermediary. The resulting prints were scientifically accurate and elaborately detailed, even though frequently very small.

Bewick's bird engravings still charm us today.

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vignette of dogs
Vignette of Dogs
from A History of British Birds
by Thomas Bewick