Sotheby, W.


Sonnets, Odes, and Other Poems. With Engravings from drawings taken on the spot, by J. Smith. London: Printed by J. Smeeton ... for R. Blamire ... 1794.
1st Ills. Ed. [2nd Enlarged Ed]. 4to. [iv] + 120pp. 13 aquatint plates from drawings taken by J. Smith engraved by Samuel Alken. Light browning, ex.-libris John F. Dillon, rebound in amateur modern calf backed marbled boards, blind motifs and gilt ruling with gilt lettered label to spine. Superb plates depicting Llangollen, Druidical Remains in Anglesey, Caernarvon Castle, Snowden, Pont-Aberglaslyn, St Brides Bay, Haverfordwest Castle, Dinevanr Castle, Caraig-cennin Castle, Melincourt Cascade, Ponty-y-Prid, Caerfily Castle, Remains of the Castle at Abergavenny. Preface ‘The author of the following Poems thinks proper to signify, that the present edition is published solely for the emolument of the artist, who has stamped a value on the descriptive parts of the Welsh tour, by the embellishments of his accurate and masterly pencil.’ ESTC T101645. ‘With a half-title and a final errata leaf’. Amongst the most famous watercolourists of his day, John ‘Warwick’ Smith (1749-1831) was also regarded as a great colourist. While towards the end of his life some were of the opinion that his style was too traditional, most agree that he transformed the use of colour in watercolour painting and that his work was an example of artists’ departure from formal and classical painting. Rudolph Ackermann states in his influential book, Repository of Arts from 1812: ‘it may with truth be said, that with this artist the first epoch of painting in water colours originated’. Between 1784 and 1806 he frequently visited Wales and became increasingly enchanted by the country ...’ National Library of Wales Aberyswyth. Smith was the son of a gardener to the family of William Gilpin - famed architect of the ‘Art of the Picturesque.’ William Sotheby (1757-1833) poet and translator. ODNB ‘... Sotheby's first publication was a volume of Poems (1790), which comprised an account of a walking tour which he and his brother Thomas had made through north and south Wales in 1788, and a number of sonnets and odes with a heroic epistle to a friend, on physiognomy. The volume was reprinted in 1794 [the above] with thirteen engravings by J. Smith ...’
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