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Paul Sandby

13 Sep

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Paul Sandby - River Landscape with Figures - 1758
Etching - paper 28.6 x 36.6 cm / image 17.6 x 22.7 cm - signed 'P Sandby Inv Sculp 1758' bottom left
Very good condition - residue of old hinges in top corners, two minimal stains onpaper's bottom edge - from 1765 2nd edition
Unframed - Price: £180

PAUL SANDBY was perhaps the greatest 18th century British etcher. He was certainly the most prolific. It is thought that he took up the art while in Scotland between 1746 and 1751 when working for the Board of Ordnance Survey of Scotland. It was during this time that he met and became close friends with John Clerk of Eldin. His first prints were views of Scotland though strictly speaking these are not entirely topographical as they include invented elements.

Sandby made his prints from his own drawings, watercolours and oils. He can be said to be the first English painter-etcher. His Scottish scenes represent some of his finest work in the first years after his return to London, and show well his romantic interpretation of the Scottish landscape, introducing the concept of the picturesque into English landscape art.

An important aspect of Sandby’s subsequent prints was his use of the aquatint process that gave his plates a tone similar to a watercolour wash.  In this he was an innovator in British printmaking though he did not invent the technique but improved it to his own ends.

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