[View in Wales]
circa 1770. Hand-coloured engraving. Trimmed as usual and mounted on washline background. Mounting sheet is watermarked laid paper. Image size: 14 1/8 x 20 1/8 inches. Sheet size: 19 1/16 x 25 1/8 inches.
A wonderful romantic view in the grand tradition of the picturesque English landscape.
Towards the middle of the eighteenth century a trend developed amongst English artists and printmakers, which sought to visually record the natural beauties of England and Wales. Sparked by a sense of national confidence and patriotism, English printmakers began to publish topographical prints of the important sights in the British Isles. In addition to being a visual record of the countryside, they were meant to encourage public recognition of the beauty and history of England. They were aimed at English and foreign tourists who desired a memento of their travels, or at those vicarious tourists who collected topographical prints instead of traveling. This is a wonderful example of a picturesque eighteenth century landscape print. By trimming the image within the platemark and mounting it on a decorative washline background the print has the effect of a landscape painting. The likeness is heightened by the addition of added body colour in the image and the use of a heavy painterly technique of engraving. This practice was common amongst engravers and printsellers who wished to capitalize on this trend for picturesque landscapes of the English countryside.
This print is from the famed Oettingen-Wallerstein collection, which was compiled over two centuries by various members of the royal household. The collection is known for its stunning impressions and the immaculate condition of its prints.
Clayton, The English Print 1688-1802 p. 155; Lugt, Les Marques de Collections , (Supplement) 2715a.