CATTON, After Charles, senior (1728-1798) and Charles CATTON, junior (1756-1819)
[A series of four views in the English/ Scottish border country]
London: F. Jukes, 20 March 1793. Aquatint engravings, coloured by hand, by Francis Jukes. Image size (including text): 15 3/4 x 23 3/4 inches approx. Sheet size: 21 3/4 x 32 3/4 inches approx.
A lovely set of large early Romantic views of the border region
The plates are titled: 1. 'View of Jedburgh Abbey'; 2. 'View of the Town and Bridge of Berwick'; 3. 'View of Berwick upon Tweed'; 4. 'View of Dryborough Abbey and the Elden-Hills'. Created for an English audience, they reflect a new admiration for the beauties of Scotland and for pre-industrialized regions generally. Francis Jukes advanced the art of printed landscape considerably with his beautifully colored views of ruined abbeys, desolate seashores and expansive valley vistas, enunciating the longing to "return to Nature" that found expression in the work of Wordsworth and others at just this time. Charles Catton, the elder, was born in Norwich 'one of a family of thirty-five children, was apprenticed to a London coach-painter, and found time also for some study in the St. Martin's Lane academy. He is chiefly known as a landscape and animal painter, but he had a good knowledge of the figure... Somewhat early in life he became a member of the Society of Artists, and exhibited various pictures in its galleries from 1760 to 1764. He shone in his own profession... [and he] received the appointment of coach-painter to George III, and was one of the foundation members of the Royal Academy. In 1784 he was master of the Company of Painter-Stainers. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from its foundation to the year of his death, sending altogether a large number of works.' (DNB). Charles Catton, the younger, 'travelled considerably in England and Scotland making sketches, of which some were afterwards engraved and published. He was known as a scene-painter, and also as a topographical draughtsman... At the Royal Academy he exhibited thirty-seven times altogether from 1776 to 1800. In the latter year he was living at Purley. In 1804 he left this country for America, and settled in a farm upon the Hudson with his two daughters and a son. There he lived until his death, painting occasionally.' (DNB). The watercolour from which these prints come were almost certainly commissioned from the Cattons by Steuart and Jukes, with the latter publishing the prints. Francis Jukes (1745-1812) 'was born at Martley, Worcestershire, in 1745. He was chiefly engaged in engraving or etching topographical prints, but subsequently devoted himself to engraving in aquatint. By careful perseverance Jukes brought this art almost to perfection, his principal productions being coloured by hand.' (DNB).