Studio: international art — 84.1922

Page: 201
DOI issue: DOI article: DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/studio1922a/0221
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TURNER'S ETCHINGS : BY ALEX-
ANDER J. FINBERG. a 0 a

TURNER'S chief object in undertaking
the " Liber Studiorum " seems to
have been to make his reputation safe with
posterity. He knew how short-lived were
water-colours and oil paintings ; he knew
that engravings were comparatively more
permanent than drawings and paintings ;
and he appreciated the advantages which
a widely circulated series of engravings
after his own designs would give to his
reputation. a a a a 0
The form of the " Liber Studiorum "
was modelled on Earlom's series of
mezzotints after Claude's sketches and
studies. Claude's drawings were made
with a pen and washes of sepia. Turner's
designs were therefore made in the same
way. And as he wanted the series to
exhibit the full range of his power as a
designer or inventor, he decided to make
a hundred drawings in pen and wash

illustrating all the then known styles of
landscape composition. a a a
Earlom's method of engraving Claude's
drawings was first to etch the line work,
and then to add in mezzotint his render-
ing of the sepia washes over the etched
foundation. This was the method Turner
adopted. But he was careful to make the
etchings himself. This gave his plates an
immense advantage over Earlom's, for
an engraver's copy of the pen lines in a
drawing must necessarily be tamer and
less adequate than the artist's own render-
ing on copper of the leading lines of his
own design. There was another weakness
in Earlom's work which had not escaped
Turner's notice. Earlom's engravings,
brilliant and popular as they were, did
not always do justice to the finer qualities
of Claude's designs. In his search for
brilliance of effect the engraver often lost
much of the solemnity and dignity of the
original drawings. Had Claude been able
to superintend Earlom's work Turner
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