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Erhard Rewich, with only this difference, that the plates are of copper in the French translation and of wood in the original editions.
The first French engraver upon metal, whose name has reached us, is Jean Duvet or Danet, a native of Langres, called le maitre à le licorne. He flourished at Paris under the reign of Henry II. We possess several of his prints which do not appear to be engraved upon copper, but upon some softer metal. Many excellent engravers lived under the reign of Louis XIV., at which period, as we have already observed, German artists resorted to Paris for instruction. After the death of that monarch, engraving declined. We are indebted to French artists for most of the fine prints taken from Italian landscapes, as well as for the productions of the great German painters.
Among eminent French engravers, we may name-Poilly, Borée de Boiswert; Andran, celebrated for his historical compositions ; Manteuil and Masson, known for their admirable portraits. In the 18th century flourished Balechou, Bervic, and Pardieu. About the same time, engraving in pencil style was invented by François, but Demarteau carried the new discovery to such perfection at the very moment of its first appearance, that he came to be considered as its author. It is now in a great measure replaced by lithography, of which we shall hereafter speak.
The 19th century offers us the names of Massaud, Desnoyers, Bervic, and Richomme. M. Narcisse Lecomte has just distinguished himself by the very able manner in which he has engraved a holy family by Raphael.
In England as in France, metal plates were first applied to the ornament of books. The first Englishman on record in this branch of art is Thomas Geminie, who flourished about the middle of the 16th century. John Payne, who lived under Charles I., executed portraits with great ability. Indeed, the taste for portraits was very general in England, and these engravings were for the most part highly finished. The works of Faithore and White have long been objects of the collector's search. Illustrated works likewise have always been the fashion amongst us. Among the English engravers who, towards the middle of the 18th century visited Paris for instruction, we may name Ryland and Strange. After their return, England had a great many engravers of first-rate merit in all branches. Mezzotinto has been carried to its highest perfection in London; no artists can surpass English engravers in this particular, and few can compare with them, if we except the pupils of the Academy at Vienna and the chalcographers of Dessau.
Among eminent English engravers of the 19th century, we may cite Sharp, Doo, Heath, Wollett, Graves, Earlom, and Green. The departure of Regulus, Hannibals Oath, the death of Bayard, and the death of Epaminondas are all prints that place Mr. Green decidedly high in public estimation. Mr. Sharp has attained celebrity for his historical compositions ; his print of St. Cecilia is a beautiful production of art : and John Porter reading the Great Bible in St. Paul's is well calculated to maintain Mr. Graves in the high place he enjoys among the line engravers of the present day.
In this recital we have abandoned wood-engraving, the subject with which we set out, in order to follow the higher paths of chalcography. Neglected towards the close of the 18th century, it has latterly again recovered favour. The custom of casting the blocks in metal, or stereotyping, as practised for printing generally, has also been introduced for the purpose of engraving, and this method has wonderfully improved the impressions taken off from wood-cuts. Books are now again ornamented with vignettes, engraved on wood after the new system. It is to the same process that we owe those beautiful engravings published in Prussia by Gubitz, in France by Bougon and Thomson, and in England by Nesbitt.
Engraving in relief on copper and on steel produces prints so similar in appearance to those taken off from wooden blocks, that the two styles are often confounded. Metal engraving in relief is executed by engravers of seals and medals. This method is much used in the manufacture of bank-notes, for the ornaments on book-binding, and likewise for stamps of all kinds. The vignettes engraved at Paris by M. M. Andrieux and Galle, and destined to ornament the beautiful editions of different works lately published in that capital by Didot, are taken off from copper or steel plates, engraved in relief.
The discovery of lithography is due to Aloys Sennefelder, born at Prague in 1771, the bad success of whose attempts upon the stage induced him to turn author. By dint of watching the process employed to print his own works, he began to entertain the desire of printing them himself by an easier method. Many fruitless experiments were the result of this idea, but Sennefelder would not be discouraged, and chance at length crowned his perseverance with success. His essays at engraving in hollow upon stone were anything but satisfactory, and, in despair, he would have returned to the use of copperplates, when one day his mother came to request him to write out a washing-bill for her. Sennefelder had just prepared a stone with which to make another trial; not finding a piece of paper
at hand, and anxious to give his mother the bill immediately, he determined to write it out on the stone. This was done with the ink he had composed for his experiments, a mixture of wax, soap, and lamp-black. Afterwards, having copied the bill on paper, he was about to wipe off the writing on the stone, when the idea suddenly occurred to him to see what would be the effect produced, if he applied aqua fortis to the stone, and endeavoured to blacken the writing by a process similar to that employed for the same purpose in typography and in wood-engraving. This experiment met with complete success.
Sennefelder applied his discovery to printing of music, and invented different sorts of presses which tolerably resemble those still in use. Finally, he substituted the pencil for the
In 1800, Sennefelder obtained for André von Offenbach a patent for England, and established a lithographic press at London, under Offenbach's charge. In 1806, he himself superintended a similar undertaking at Munich, where many choice prints were published.
Lithography is cultivated with great success in London, at Brussels, and especially at Berlin and Dresden. The copies of the pictures in the Dresden gallery made by Hanfstängl are almost if not quite without equal. Munich is the central point of contrafaçon for all lithographies published in France and England. Great numbers of these prints, both black and coloured, are thence exported to Belgium, Holland, Russia, and the different States of North and South America.
Caricature has derived considerable extension from the discovery of lithography. The word is of Italian origin. The Italians are a very sensitive people, peculiarly alive to all outward impressions; their great painters could not fail to employ in a satirical manner the weapons their genius taught them so well how to wield. For a long time caricatures were the only liberty of the press allowed in Europe, and eagerly must the victims of the great and powerful have seized on this mode of vengeance. Rabelais' admirable productions prove that first-rate geniuses did not at that epoch disdain to handle the caricaturist's weapons. During the war between England and France, under the reign of Napoleon, both nations exhausted their satirical talents against each other. In France, since the last revolution, caricatures have come into great favour. The journal called La caricature, which began to appear in October 1830, offers a curious monument of the spirit of the age. In. 1832, the Charivari followed in its steps, displaying a considerable if not an equal amount of talent. Every day this journal sends forth a number accompanied with the most amusing prints. The principal
artists are, Grandville, Daunier, Pravier, and Forest. We must also mention among talented French caricaturists, Johannot and Gavarni.
Political caricatures are most in vogue with us; no laws here restrain this free expression of thought-sovereign and ministers
in review before the people, clothed in all the exaggerations of their vices or their follies. It is difficult to say whether the four great caricature powers of England-Gilray, Cruikshanks, H. B., and Punch, have supplied most food for laughter or for serious thought. H. B. may, perhaps, with more propriety be called a political draftsman than a caricaturist; his pencil never wanders into any distortion of form, however ridiculous may be his groupings or grotesque his applications. At the time of the famous trial of Queen Caroline, caricatures were multiplied on all sides, and some of them will long be justly remembered.
Thus have we endeavoured to follow engraving, though but in a cursory manner, through all its stages and in all its branches. We have seen the art of tracing upon different kinds of substances followed by a method of taking off impressions from wooden blocks engraved in relief-xylography superseded by typography-chasing of silver form the groundwork of copperplate engraving, a variety of differing processes spring from this parent stem, and contribute to the production or the ornament of other branches of art. Had space permitted, we would have drawn more particular attention to the spirit of the age as reflected in the works of each great artist, or to the influence which he exercised over national taste by the power of his genius. Convinced that thus alone can curiosity be rendered really useful, we hope that a philosophic history of engraving may yet be forthcoming: What avail the labours of bibliographers if no deduction be drawn from them? The history of mankind—that is, of the human intellect, has been often written, but who that reflects will not see that the most elemental materials for such a work have been neglected. When an account of the rise and progress of each particular manifestation of human thought and feeling shall have been composed in the spirit we here suggest, then, and then only, will the enlightened philosopher undertake, with some chance of success, a history of man.
ART. VII.- Degli ultimi casi di Romagna, di MASSIMO
D'AZEGLIO. 12mo. Italia, 1846.
MACCHIAVELLI has observed that any attempt at revolution is a sure sign of bad government, the people being more apt to suffer extreme injuries than to have recourse to the extreme remedy of a revolution. It may also be received as an axiom, that the more desperate the attempt the more atrocious must be the government that drives the people to a hopeless contest. When a nation is brought to such a pitch that it cannot be worse off than it is—when the future must be an improvement on the present, then it is that people are apt to have recourse to any means to bring about any change. We are too ready to pass judgment on what happens in foreign countries, from a cursory glance at effects, which we mistake for causes, from assuming, as the illness, its symptoms; by confounding together bad prescriptions and the dangerous malady. Those who, like M. de Polignac, attribute the more or less "successful attempts at revolution in different countries to secret societies, to the demoralization of classes, and so on, forget that all these are the effects of a bad government. The strict measures taken to put down dissatisfaction are generally directed not to remedy the evil, but to cover over its symptoms; and although it is not to be denied that revolutionists, who have more or less obtained success, have seldom founded a well-digested government instead of the one which they had overthrown, it is most preposterous to argue from this against their just cause of rebellion. A man who suffers from a chronical and excruciating malady is, generally, wrong in having recourse to quack doctors or in prescribing for himself
, but he only has recourse to these resources—if he be a man of any
education—when he has found no relief from the Faculty; and in no case has any one thought of doubting the reality and gravity of the malady, from the desperate and incessant efforts made by the patient to get relief.
The state of dissatisfaction of the Italian population with respect to their several governments—the reckless efforts unceasingly made to upset them—the abortive attempts at constructing the governments which were to succeed those which it was intended to overthrow, afford a luminous and irrefragable proof of the soundness of these principles. England, France, and some German states, living in comparative happiness and freedom
* See North Brit. Rev. vol. iii., p. 130.