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Talk on William Woollett, Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury, 3rd December

Author: Gainsborough's House, Sudbury Published: 3rd December 2014 06:36

 Engraving Woollett

Talk on William Woollett, Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury, 3rd December

William Woollett: the story behind the icon of printmaking

Historian and author, Tim Clayton, will be giving a talk this Wednesday, 3 December, on the eighteenth century printmaker, William Woollett.  

The talk will take place at Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury, at 7pm.  Tickets cost £10 each and include a glass of wine.  A private view of the William Woollett (1725-85) print and copperplate etching and engraving, The Death of General Wolfe, originally painted by Benjamin West (1738-1820), will be open from 6pm. The owner of the copperplate, arts and heritage campaigner, Loyd Grossman, has generously allowed a limited edition of 50 prints in aid of Gainsborough’s House.

Since 1760 a young engraver by the name of William Woollett (1735-85) had been in the employment of an adventurous publisher - John Boydell (1720-1804). Boydell sought to elevate British art to an international stature through the circulation of his prints. Steadily increasing respect for British artists by publishing a number of books; Boydell reproduced quality engravings of British paintings for a European audience. Woollett and Boydell saw the potential of this image and with - the engraver to the King  - William W. Ryland (1732-83), formulated a plan to buy the publishing rights to West’s critically acclaimed Death of General Wolfe.

There was popular demand for this print and William Woollett (1735–1785) began the engraving in 1772. In November 1775, just before publication, he presented a proof impression to George III and was appointed engraver to the king. The print was published in 1776 and the original copperplate is exhibited for the first time at Gainsborough’s House.  

The exhibition runs until 11 January 2015.  To book tickets for Wednesday’s talk, please call 01787 372958.



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