The City of Edinburgh
London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1824. Hand-coloured aquatint, 'drawn on the spot by I. Clark'. Image size (including text): 14 7/8 x 21 3/4 inches. Sheet size: 18 3/4 x 24 7/8 inches.
A lyrical view of Georgian Edinburgh: 'the Athens of the North', from John Clark's 'Views in Scotland'.
There is some debate as to who executed this stunning print. There is no reference which identifies the author of this view, but there is some indication that it is the work of the celebrated painter John Heaviside Clark (1770-1863). Born in Scotland, Clark exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy between 1801 and 1832. He was primarily a landscape and marine painter, but he also produced a number of fine aquatints, which exhibit his exceptional talents as an engraver. Known as "Waterloo Clark" for his early sketches of the battle of Waterloo, he was a painter of some repute across the British Isles, and his beautiful views remain some of the most attractive images of the English countryside. A contemporary gazetteer notes that 'Edinburgh presents, from almost every point of view whence it can be viewed such scenic and architectural groupings as are perhaps unrivalled in any existing city in the world. It possesses attractions peculiarly its own, and fixes the gaze and challenges the admiration of a spectator by displays of general excellence, unaided by the sumptuousness of any one object, and undegraded by the deteriorations from its prevailing style of magnificence.' (Fullarton [publisher's] A Gazetteer of the World 1856, III, p.140).
Cf. Abbey Scenery 489; cf. Prideaux p.331; Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, vol 3, p. 676.