The Lady and the Rooks



Edward Calvert (1829). Wood engraving, 1 13/16" x 3 3/16"

Edward Calvert (1799-1883) was one of the followers of William Blake known as "The Ancients". He is best known
for a set of small but highly detailed wood engravings, copper engravings and lithographs produced in a few years
after Blake's death in 1827.

The impression shown here is the rare first state, presumably printed by Calvert himself.
(Note that the actual width is only a bit over 3", less than half the size shown here.)
The inscription at the lower left was removed later, and nearly all impressions, such as those in the Memoir(2), lack it.
In later impressions the outer border line is gone, and the fine lines on the Lady's gown have disappeared.

Calvert's later work did not have his earlier intensity. He traveled to Greece 1844, and in his later years he produced dreamy visions of an idealized past, which do, nevertheless, achieve some rather refined harmonies. Here is a small painting which is typical of his late work: Iasius.

References:
(1) Lister, Raymond, Edward Calvert, G Bell and Sons, London (1962).
(2) Calvert, Samuel A Memoir of Edward Calvert, Artist, by His Third Son, Sampson Low, Marston and Company,
| London (1893). This book, printed in only 350 copies, includes eight authentic woodcuts and engravings by
| Calvert. As a result, most copies have been destroyed, cut up to remove the original prints.

There is a line of romantic, often pastoral or visionary, English etchers that runs from William Blake through ``The Ancients'' (Calvert, Samuel Palmer (1805-1881), etc.) to Frederick Griggs (1876-1938), then on to the early Graham Sutherland (1903-1980), Robin Tanner (1904-1988), Paul Drury (1903-1987), and in a sense ending with Joseph Webb (1908-1962).