|Method||Copper engraving with hand colouring|
|Artist||James Basire after Joseph Mallord William Turner|
|Dimensions||Image 312 x 446 mm, Sheet 384 x 507 mm|
A view of Christ Church Cathedral and part of Corpus Christi College printed for the 1811 Oxford Almanac.
James Basire (1730 - 1832) was a British engraver, often confused with his son of the same name. In 1745, Basire was apprenticed to the engraver Richard William Seale and afterwards travelled to Italy with the artist and engraver Roger Dalton. By the 1760s he had established a successful engraving practice. In 1755 Basire was appointed engraver to the Society of Antiquaries and after that time documentary or pictorial antiquarian engraving formed the majority of his work. Basire is best remembered for his 1770 engraving of the historical painting The Field of the Cloth of Gold (c.1550-80) that depicts the festivities following the meeting of Henry VIII with the French King Francis I in 1520. This was the largest engraving ever made and took Basire over two years to complete. Between 1761 and 1783, he exhibited his prints at the Free Society of Artists. Both of his sons, James and Richard Woolett, were apprenticed to him, but more notably, so was William Blake.
Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 - 1851) was a painter and draughtsman who became one of the most celebrated artists Britain would ever produce. He was born near Covent Garden, London, and entered the Royal Academy Schools in December of 1789. The Academy, conscious of his prodigious talent, encouraged and supported Turner. He was elected as an Associate of the RA in 1799, and became a full Academician in 1802. His early oil painting flitted between Netherlandish works in the manner of Cuyp, Ruisdael and Van de Velde, classical landscapes like those of Claude and Richard Wilson, and, upon returning from his Parisian visit in 1802, grand historical compositions like those of Poussin and Titian. The development of his idiosyncratic style, commonly held to have been around 1803, led to critical condemnation. His preoccupation with light and colour produced abstract, near vorticistic works, which predated Impressionism, but were hugely controversial in the conformist context of late Georgian and early Victorian England. Whilst some critics accused Turner of extravagance and exaggeration, John Ruskin virulently thwarted these claims in Modern Painters, and championed the artist's fidelity to nature. Ruskin became the main advocate of a new generation of Turner admirers, usually professional, middle class, or newly wealthy, who embraced his work for its modernity. An enormously prolific artist, Turner bequeathed over three hundred oils and close to twenty thousand drawings and prints to the nation. His style produced many imitators, but no rivals.
Condition: Surface wear and creasing to sheet. Small tears to bottom and right margin.