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Description:This large original copper-plate engraved antique print of The Moat Island in Great Windsor Park by Thomas Sandby was engraved by François Vivares and published by John Boydell for the 1772 edition of Eight Views of Windsor Great ParkThomas Sandby RA 1721 – 1798 was an English draughtsman, watercolour artist, architect and teacher. In 1743 he was appointed private secretary to the Duke of Cumberland, who later appointed him Deputy Ranger of Windsor Great Park, where he was responsible for considerable landscaping work.Along with his younger brother Paul, he was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in 1768, and was its first professor of architecture. His most notable architectural work was the Freemason\'s Hall in London (now demolished).Francois Vivares 1709 – 1780 was a French landscape-engraver, active in England.
General Definitions:Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stablePaper color : - off whiteAge of map color: -Colors used: -General color appearance: -Paper size: - 23 1/2in x 13 1/2in (595mm x 340mm)Plate size: - 23 1/2in x 13 1/2in (595mm x 340mm)Margins: - Min 1/2in (12mm)
Imperfections:Margins: - Soiling and creasingPlate area: - Several small tears and holes repairedVerso: - Repairs as noted
Background: The set of eight folio plates published in Eight Views of Windsor Great Park executed by Thomas Sandby and his brother Paul with the assistance of several noted English engravers. The 8 views were considered to be the finest set of topographical country house views after Rigauds 1739 Views of StoweThomas Sandby (1721–1798) was an architect who served as draftsman to the Duke of Cumberland at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. With his younger brother Paul, a landscape painter and watercolourist, they were founding members of the Royal Academy in 1768.Through these engravings, the Duke of Cumberland sought to commemorate his alteration of the park, which had served English royalty since the eleventh century as a hunting and jousting ground and, beginning in the eighteenth century, as a place of formal gardens and walks. (The Duke is pictured in several of the engravings, arriving by carriage, directing workers by a bridge, and discoursing with the King by the river.) The improvements to Windsor Great Park recorded in these engravings include a dam built in 1749, forming an artificial lake, rockwork, a cascade, and a grotto. In 1752, a fifty-ton ships hull was raised from the Thames and fitted up on the artificial lake as a Mandarin Yacht or Chinese Junk. A triangular Gothic belvedere was erected on Shrubs Hill to the south, and a large wooden footbridge was constructed over the water. Renovations were also undertaken at the so-called Great Lodge, which became the Dukes residence at Windsor. In short, these improvements partook of the fashionable taste for picturesque Gothick – that was most noticeably championed by Horace Walpoles contemporary Strawberry Hill villa.Much of these improvements, which were actually the work of architect Henry Flitcroft, were destroyed by severe floods, which broke the dam at Virginia Water in 1768 and again in 1782. These views therefore provide evidence for the state of the park at that date.Original sketches and preparatory drawings by Paul and Thomas Sandby related to these engravings survive in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the British Museum.
Boydell, John 1720 - 1804Boydell 1804 was an 18th-century British publisher noted for his reproductions of engravings. He helped alter the trade imbalance between Britain and France in engravings and initiated a British tradition in the art form. A former engraver himself, Boydell promoted the interests of artists as well as patrons and as a result his business prospered.The son of a land surveyor, Boydell apprenticed himself to William Henry Toms, an artist he admired, and learned engraving. He established his own business in 1746 and published his first book of engravings around the same time. Boydell did not think much of his own artistic efforts and eventually started buying the works of others, becoming a print dealer as well as an artist. He became a successful importer of French prints during the 1750s but was frustrated by their refusal to trade prints in kind. To spark reciprocal trade, he commissioned William Wolletts spectacular engraving of Richard Wilsons The Destruction of the Children of Niobe, which revolutionised the print trade. Ten years later, largely as a result of Boydells initiative, the trade imbalance had shifted, and he was named a fellow of the Royal Society for his efforts.In the 1790s, Boydell began a large Shakespeare venture that included the establishment of a Shakespeare Gallery, the publication of an illustrated edition of Shakespeares plays, and the release of a folio of prints depicting scenes from Shakespeares works. Some of the most illustrious painters of the day contributed, such as Benjamin West and Henry Fuseli.Throughout his life, Boydell dedicated time to civic projects: he donated art to government institutions and ran for public office. In 1790 he became Lord Mayor of London. The French Revolutionary Wars led to a cessation in Continental trade at the end of the 1790s. Without this business, Boydells firm declined and he was almost bankrupt at his death in 1804.In 1751, with his large volume of prints, Boydell moved to larger premises at 90 Cheapside. By 1755, he had published A Collection of One Hundred and Two Views, &C. in England and Wales. This cheap but successful book gave him capital to invest. He became increasingly immersed in the commercial side of the print business and like most print dealers began importing prints to sell. These included print reproductions of landscapes by artists such as Claude Lorrain and Salvator Rosa. The bulk of the imports came from the undisputed masters of engraving during the 18th century: the French. Boydell made a small fortune in the 1750s from these imported prints. His early success was acknowledged in 1760 when he was named a member of the Royal Society.Winifred Friedman, who has written extensively on Boydell, explains that despite this success, [w]hat rankled Boydell was that the French would not extend credit, or exchange prints; he was required to produce hard cash. Boydell took action, and this was the turning point.In 1761, Boydell decided that he would attempt to trade with the French in kind—something they had refused in the past because of the poor quality of British engravings. To inaugurate this change, he had to have a truly spectacular print. To this end, he hired William Woollett, the foremost engraver in England, to engrave Richard Wilsons Destruction of the Children of Niobe. Woollett had already successfully engraved Claude Lorrains 1663 painting The Father of Psyche Sacrificing at the Temple of Apollo for Boydell in 1760. Boydell paid him approximately £100 for the Niobe engraving, a staggering amount compared to the usual rates. This single act of patronage raised engravers fees throughout London. The print was wildly successful, but more importantly, the French accepted it as payment in kind. In fact, it was the first British print actively desired on the Continent. By 1770, the British were exporting far more prints than they were importing, largely due to Boydell.Boydells business flourished and he soon hired his nephew, Josiah Boydell, to assist him. Boydells biographer, Sven Bruntjen, hypothesizes that one of the reasons for Boydells early and phenomenal success was his specialisation. Unlike his competitors [who sold manuals, atlases and other assorted books] ... his [business had an] almost exclusive concentration on the sale of reproductive prints. Bruntjen argues that despite the extensive sales of varied types of reproductive prints, it was the contemporary history print which accounted for the major part of Boydells success as a print dealer. Most notable among these was the Death of General Wolfe a 1770 painting by Benjamin West, engraved by Woollett for Boydell in 1776. As early as 1767, Boydell had stopped engraving prints himself and began exclusively relying on commissions and trades and it was from these that he profited.Boydell had opened up a new market with Niobe and he quickly followed up this success. With a prospering business and capital in reserve, he embarked on several ambitious projects, often simultaneously. In 1769, he began A Collection of Prints, Engraved after the Most Capital Paintings in England. Its last, and ninth volume, was finished in 1792 to great critical and financial success. In 1773, he began A Set of Prints Engraved after the Most Capital Paintings in the Collection of Her Imperial Majesty the Empress of Russia, Lately in the Possession of the Earl of Orford at Houghton in Norfolk, which was finished in 1788.In addition to these projects and in the middle of his Shakespeare undertaking Boydell experimented with aquatint in An History of the River Thames, published in 1796. Bruntjen writes, although not the first colored aquatint book, [it] was the first major one, and it was to set an example for the type of illustration that was to enjoy widespread popularity in England for some forty years. Boydell also published The Original Work of William Hogarth in 1790 and The Poetical Works of John Milton and The Life of the Poet (i.e., Milton) in 1794.The productivity and profitability of Boydells firm spurred the British print industry in general. By 1785, annual exports of British prints reached £200,000 while imports fell to £100. Boydell was acknowledged and praised throughout England as the agent of this stunning economic reversal. In 1773 he was awarded the Royal Academy Gold Medal for his services in advancing the print trade. In 1789, at the Royal Academy dinner, the Prince of Wales toasted an English tradesman who patronizes art better than the Grand Monarque, Alderman Boydell, the Commercial Maecenas