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frequented deferts, as they furnish a palatable addition to the flender diet of the traveller. In the fame plate is a print of the fringilla cyanocapilla from Senegal.
The twenty fifth plate fhews the brucea antidyfenterica, a fpecies of a new genus from Africa, ufed by the natives as a specific against the dyfentery. The next is a new fpecies of teftudo called fulcata, from the Weft Indies; the shell is beautifully variegated: and the following object is the Chinese wild man. We recommend the animal to the attention of lord Monboddo; but, if we can truft general habits and appearances, it is of the monkey race. Its arms, particularly, reach far below its knees: it is, however, claffed by our author under the genus HOмO.
The twenty-eighth plate represents that fpecies of falcon, fo useful at the Cape of Good Hope, called ferpentarius, from its feeding on ferpents The following plate exhibits a new fpecies of pfittacus, called, from its native haunts, Guinienfis. Two birds from India, and one from South America, fill the twenty-ninth plate. The firft is a new species of the minute trochilus, from its voracity called gularis. The fecond is a new species of fringilla, called torquata; and the last, which is also new, is the motacilla gularis.
The jerboa Capenfis, from the extremity of Africa, is a new genus of the fourth clafs of Linnæus. It is a beautiful animal, the infides of whofe ears are of a vivid pink colour. The next object is a new fpecies of lemur, the 1. bicolor; and the next a new one of the otis; the firft is from South America, and the fecond from India. The two laft plates of the fixth Number represent two new species of ardea, from South America, the a. nævia and torquata.
We have thus given a short description of the different fubjects in this work, with a few remarks to point out their nature. It will be readily obferved, that the fpecies delineated are generally new, and frequently important. When they were before known, thofe chiefly are felected, which had not been hitherto engraven with fufficient accuracy. It will be obvious, that if the fame care be employed in the progress of the work, it will become very valuable; and the coft, though great, be repaid with confiderable information. At prefent, from the number of African animals, it is an useful addition to Sparrmann's Voyage; and we fufpect, in the profecution of it, that it will no lefs affift the different narrations of captain Cook. At the fame time, it will be a monument of skill and knowledge, of which an Englishman may be justly proud; because it is the work of his countryman, because it is yet unrivalled, and probably will remain without an equal.
A Biographical Dictionary, containing an hiftorical Account of all the Engravers, from the earlieft Period of the Art of Engraving to the prefent Time; and a fhort Lift of their most esteemed Works. With the Cyphers, Monograms, and particular Marks, ufed by each Mafter, accurately copied from the Originals, and properly explained. To which is prefixed, An Efay on the Rife and Progress of the Art of Engraving, both on Copper and on Wood. With feveral curious Specimens of the Performances of the most ancient Mafters. By Jofeph Strutt. Vol. I. 4to. 1. 1s. in Boards. Faulder.
IN N England, the art of engraving is much cultivated, and its artists now excel thofe of every other country; yet we have till wanted a fatisfactory account of the engravers, or their works, in the English language.
In France (we are informed) the example has been fet us by Bafon, who, with the affiftance of the notes of M. Mariette, has given us a regular account of upwards of a thousand artists. It is a very ingenious compilation, and, as far as it goes, exceedingly useful. The defcriptions which he gives of the prints belonging to each artist are very accurate, and the obfer vations which occur, are no fmall proofs of the folidity of his judgment; but he has generally omitted to inform us of the ftyle or manner in which they are worked: neither has he given us the marks or monograms, which they often fubftituted inftead of their names; and thefe omiffions render his work much less valuable than it would otherwise have been, because it affords us but little affiftance in diftinguishing the works of one mafter from thofe of another of the fame name, or who might use the fame mark.
The other foreign publications upon the fubject, though very multifarious, are, nevertheless, exceedingly defective; few of them speak of the art of engraving abstractedly; and the greater part of them are little more than unfatisfactory catalogues of the names of the artifts, or lifts of their works, without any proper defcription. If profeffor Chrift had paid a fufficient attention to this particular, his Dictionary of Monograms would have afforded infinitely more affiftance in diftinguishing the works of the old matters, the one from the other; though it is confeffedly, as it ftands, a very defirable performIn English, we have Evelyn's Sculptura; a fmall book entitled Sculptura Hiftorico-Technica, compiled originally by the elder Faithorne; and the Series of Engravers, published at Cambridge: thefe, excepting catalogues of particular masters works, are all the books I can recollect of any consequence, in which the artifts are generally fpoken of (for Virtue's Catalogue of the Engravers, published by the hon. Mr. Walpole,
is confined to the English school only; and that they are very defective, a small degree of examination will abundantly prove. I need not fay how expensive it would be to purchase all the publications, which bear any reference to the art of engraving; but I fear, the information to be gained, from the far greater part of them, would be neither adequate to the cost, nor the tudy which must neceffarily be bestowed upon them.'
The title of the work fufficiently explains its form, which is well adapted to the author's defign. A fyftem of the art might have been fcientifically arranged; but the lives of the artifts require no fuch fetters, and they would leffen the utility of a work of this kind, which is rather to be referred to than read. A chronological table is, however, intended to be placed at the end of the fecond volume, with a lift of the difciples of each master.
Nearly three thousand names are included in the narrow limits of this work; the lives of the artists muft, of courfe, be drawn up in as fhort a compafs as poffible. I am well aware of the drynefs of a mere Dictionary hiftory, as alfo of the frequent repetitions which muft neceffarily occur; and I have endea voured to compensate for thele defects, by a diligent attention to truth at the fame time, whenever I could meet with an interefting anecdote to enliven the performance, I have gladly inferted it. But fo many of the engravers lived and died in obfcurity, that little, very little matter of amufement, exclu.. five of the arts, can be gathered from the barren foil. These unfavourable circumftances will not, I hope, be placed to my account, even when it appears, that I have chofen rather to leave the fubje&t naked as it is, than to adorn it in a more pleafing manner, at the expence of veracity.
• With refpect to the general character of each artift, I have written as an engraver, and endeavoured, as clearly as possible, to point out the ftyle in which he worked, and wherein his great excellence confifted; and upwards of twenty years experience may, perhaps, plead a little in favour of my judgment. I have conftantly, however, endeavoured to deliver my fentiments in the most impartial manner: and if I am in any inflance thought to speak too highly in favour of the artist, I hope to claim fome fmail fhare of indulgence, becaufe I conftantly speak as I feel, and never prefume to give my opinion pofitively, without adding the reafons upon which it is grounded.'
So far as this work has gone, the judicious author has fulfilled his promifes; and we receive it with more pleasure, fince we are very fenfible of the difficulties which must have attended the execution. The feveral engravers, in this volume, appear to us very accurately characterized; and where their life has admitted of introducing any entertaining circumstances, out
of the line of their profeffion, they have been properly inferted. As a fpecimen of this kind, we fhall tranfcribe the Life of John Blagrave.
John Blagrave, born Died, 1611. An excellent mathematician. He was the fecond fon of John Blagrave, of Bulmarth-Court, in the county of Berkshire. The former part of his education he received at Reading, from whence he removed to St. John's college, Oxford. When he quitted the university, where he did not long refide, he retired to Southcote-Lodge, and devoted his time to ftudy, his genius chiefly leading him to the fcience of mathematics. He alfo reduced his ftudies to practice, and gave to the public the fruit of his labours. He was a man of a benevolent difpofition; and his judicious charities are ftill remembered at Reading with gratitude. One efpecially is too fingular to be omitted in this place. Annually, on Good Friday, he appointed the church-wardens of the feveral parishes in that town, to choose three maidens of fair character, each of which had lived three years in her place, and to bring them to the town hall, where, before the mayor and aldermen, they caft dice; and the who is fo fortunate as to throw the highest number, is prefented with a purfe containing ten pounds, and attended by the other two maidens who loft the caft. The year following, the maidens, who loft the caft the year before, come again, with a third added to them, and throw again. But if any one is fo unfortunate as to lose three throws, the cannot caft a fourth time, but is excluded from the benefit of the charity. Mr. Athmole, who gives a full account of this custom, adds: "it is lucky money; for I never heard, but that the maid that had the ten pounds fuddenly got a good husband." Mr. Blagrave died at his houfe near Reading, Auguft 9, 1611, and was interred, near his mother, in the church of St. Lawrence, in that town. His principal works are the following a Treatise on the making and ufing the Familiar Staff. The Aftrolabium Uranicum generale. The Art of Di alling, and the Mathematical Jewel. This laft is his greatest and most esteemed performance. It was printed in 1585, at London, with this note in the frontispiece: By John Blagrave of Reading, gentleman, and well-willer to the mathematics, who hath cut all the prints or pictures of the whole with his own hands." They are wooden cuts, and neatly executed. Where he has not put his name at length, it is thus abreviated, J. Blag. fculp."
As a fpecimen of his characters of the ftyle of engravers, we shall select the following account of that of Cornelius Bloemart,
• The manner of engraving, adopted by this excellent artift, appears to me to be not only quite original, but the fource from
which we may trace that ftyle, in which the greatest and best French masters excelled: those I mean, who worked with the graver only. He covered the lights upon his distances, and the other parts of his plates, which required tinting, with great care. The lights, whether on the diftant hills, trees, buildings, or figures, in the engravings prior to his time, had been left quite clear, and by fo many white fpots fcattered, in various parts of the fame defign, the harmony was destroyed, the fubject confufed, and the principal figures prevented from relieving with any ftriking effect. By this judicious improvement, Bloemart gave to his prints a more clear and finished appearance, than all the laboured neatness even of Jerom Wierix had been able to produce.
He drew correaly; but from his ftyle of engraving, which is executed entirely with the graver, the extremities of his figures are heavy; and his heads are not always equally beautiful or expreffive. With refpect to the mechanical part of the works, few indeed have excelled him, either in clearness or freedom of execution. His great fault, however, is want of variety. The naked parts of his figures, the draperies, and. the back-ground, are equally neat, and engraved precifely in the fame manner. Hence the effect is flat, and the flesh, for want of fufficient diftinction, appears cold and filvery. His works are justly held in high estimation.'
In other parts, he inferts useful cautions to collectors, which may be attended to with advantage. Speaking of the works of Scheltius a Bolfwert, he observes,
"It is very neceffary to caution the collectors of this master's works (thofe efpecially who are not very converfant with them), that many of them have been copied in a very careful manner, fo as easily to deceive the unfkilful. Some of thefe copies, as the Marriage of the Virgin, from Rubens, &c. are by Lawers. But thofe which are most likely to mislead are by Ragot, a French engraver, employed by Mariette the print-feller, who frequently meeting with the reverfes or counter-proofs, from the prints of Bolfwert, gave them to the engraver; and he imitated them with the utmoft precifion. By this means the impreffions from the plate copied come upon the paper the fame way with the original. It is true, his name is ufually affixed at the bottom; but it is often cut off, and then the copy is not eafily diftinguished from the original. Among other prints thus imitated by Ragot from Bolfwert, is Chriff crucified between the two thieves; where the foldier is represented piercing his fide, from Rubens.'
At the end of the volume is a very full collection of engravers marks and monograms, with an Effay on the Art of Engraving, and fome obfervations on the fubject, by another