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A HISTORY OF
ENGRAVING & ETCHING
FROM THE 15TH CENTURY TO THE YEAR 1914
BEING THE THIRD AND FULLY REVISED EDITION OF
“ A SHORT HISTORY OF ENGRAVING AND ETCHING”
ARTHUR M. HIND
OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM
SLADE PROFESSOR OF FINE ART IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
I owe a word of apology for augmenting the already extensive bibliography of engraving, and some explanation of the scope of my work may serve to supply it.
It aims, in the first place, at presenting a descriptive survey of the history of engraving on metal throughout the various centuries and schools, considerable space being devoted to the more important engravers, the names of lesser account being cited just so far as they contribute towards a connected view of the whole development, and a balanced estimate of relative artistic values. It is especially in this relation that I feel the importance of the inclusion of a chapter on modern etchers and engravers, who, in books of this kind, have seldom been treated in their natural place beside the older masters. While recognising the greater dangers of personal bias in expressing opinion on the work of living artists, I am strongly opposed to the idea that modern art demands a different and separate treatment.
I have attempted throughout to give references to original sources and best authorities, so that, both for lesser and greater artists, the student may find a sign-post when space precludes direct information.
The General Bibliography, and the Individual Bibliography attached to the Index of Engravers, present a much larger collection of authorities than has been attempted in any similar publication. The technical introduction merely aims at describing the various processes in sufficient detail to help the student, who has made no practice of the art, to a clear comprehension of cause and effect.
A somewhat new feature is formed by the Classified List of Engravers, which has gradually assumed its present shape during the course of my work. Many names of second-rate engravers appear in this section, which would have merely overburdened the text. It is the common fate of compendious lists to be both cryptic and complicated. I cannot think that mine will form an exception, and I am convinced that they will need from time to time both correction and augmentation ; but I trust that the system, which has been a gradual development into the simplest form I could devise, may serve as a scientific basis, and find sufficient uses to justify the labour entailed. I have considerable hopes that amateurs and students in many fields of research beside that of engraving may find here the names without which they have no key to the illustration of their particular subject or period. Moreover, a list of engravers, carefully placed in their natural groups, will often lead to the solution of problems of authorship when a dictionary would offer no starting-point. I have included various countries in the Classified List (e.g. America, Sweden, Norway, and Russia) which have hitherto received scant attention in general works on the subject.
In comparison with painting and sculpture, engraving is a cosmopolitan art, the immediate inter-relation of different countries being facilitated by the portable nature of its creations, This consideration is perhaps the strongest argument for the adoption of the great epochs and phases of development as the most logical order for the descriptive survey, though it occasionally entails slight recapitulations. The Classified List of Engravers, being arranged to give a continuous survey under the headings of the different countries, forms in this respect a natural supplement to the order of the historical section.
The Index, which includes over 2500 names, covering all the engravers and etchers cited in the text and classified list, presents, in the most condensed form, dates, places of activity, and individual bibliography, wherever such are known. This section may seem to encroach somewhat on the domain of a dictionary of engravers, but the student who knows the multitude of sources from which reliable information is to be culled, and the difficulty of computing a balance of authority, even after his sources have been consulted, may find some practical utility in the collection. Moreover, many names of living artists are included which are not to be found in any of the dictionaries, the biographical details having been obtained, in many instances, at first hand from the etchers themselves.
The bibliography will show that my indebtedness to the literature of the subject almost precludes specification. Two books, however, I would mention as most nearly allied in scope to the historical portion of my work, i.e. Lippmann's Kupferstich, and Kristeller's Kupferstich und Holzschnitt in vier Jahrhunderten. My debt to