Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Charles Knapton

Engraver Charles Knapton (1700–1760)

Charles Knapton and Arthur Pond created engravings for a book called "Imitations of the Italian Masters" (1735).

Charles is a family ancestor, so I was very happy to receive this original print as a gift from my brother! Unfortunately, I don't know much about his life. His brother George who I'll write about later, was a well-known British portrait painter.

"E Museo dni Ricardo Houlditch" After Panini"


Another example of Knapton's engraving work

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This is based on Claude Lorrain's painting, "Landscape with Country Dance."  Claude Lorrain was a 17th century French Baroque painter who spent much of his life in Italy. He would create several studies and ink sketches for his works in order to authenticate his work, and prevent forgeries. The painting itself evolved, below was an earlier rendition of the motif, which portrays peasants organizing a dance based in a landscape set in Uffizi, Florence.

Lorrain then repainted this scene in 1669 in France, titled "Landscape with Dancing Figures."

He kept the basic landscape composition - the central figure calling the peasants, the bridge, trees, river, and distant villa. Then removed figures and animals to create better focus. The goal was to create a harmonious, idealized landscape.




You can see Knapton copied and etched the painting's reverse image for publication.

I'm guessing the purpose behind producing this book was to help realize the goal of that time, making Art more accessible to the public.

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