The Canterbury Pilgrimage. (Schiavonetti's last great Work.)This Etching The last great work of Lewis Schiavonetti, An Artist who attained to distinguished eminence in the first rank of Engravers, Will ever remain an appropriate Monument to his Genius, Which was successfully devoted to the formation of a superior Style of Art; But unfortunately for Posterity, his Life Was prematurely closed ere he had time to give further examples Of the extraordinary talents he has here displayed. He was born at Bassano- flourished in England- finished this Etching in 1809, & died aged 45 a Martyr to intense application at Brompton near London June 7, 1810. [&] Pilgrimage to Canterbury. Dedicated by Permission to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, by His Royal Highness's Most humbly devoted Subject and Servant, Elizabeth Cromek, Widow of R.H. Cromek.
London: Published Aug.t 1. 1810 by R.H. Cromek, 64, Newman Street. [The Canterbury Pilgrimage]; London, Published Oct.r 1, 1817, by W.H. Worthington, 15 Compton Street, Brunswick Square, for Eliz Cromek [Pilgrimage to Canterbury]
Pair of etchings, total sheet sizes 400 x 985mm [The Canterbury Pilgrimage] and 360 x 955mm [Pilgrimage to Canterbury] Small margins, overall fine, small creasing in title [Canterbury Pilgrimage]; tears, creasing and trimmed to plate [Pilgrimage to Canterbury]
A rare and interesting comparison between two different states of this scarce print. Pilgrims on horseback riding to Canterbury, a journey immortalised by Geoffrey Chaucer's famous 'Canterbury Tales'. Stothard's painting of 1806 (London Tate Gallery) was engraved by the Italian stipple engraver Luigi Schiavonetti (1765-1810), but Schiavonetti died ('a Martyr to intense application' as stated on the print) before completing the work As a tribute to Schiavonetti the incomplete engraving was published posthumously. The publisher of the print, R.H. Cromek, died in 1812 and in 1817 the print, which in the interim had been completed by James Heath with a full key identifying each pilgrim, was republished by W.H. Worthington for Cromek's widow Elizabeth. The two states of the print are here paired to allow for comparison of the roles played by Schiavonetti and Heath in the process, and also for the different ways in which the print was presented by the respective publishers.
[Ref: 23116] £1,600.00