Wednesday, 18 May 2016


Gabriel Smith (1724-83)
Four anatomical studies from "The School of Art" published by Carington and John Bowles and Robert Sayer, London, 1765
Crayon-manner, soft-ground stipple etchings printed in sanguine colour on soft laid paper
Size of each print: (sheet) 43.5 x 27.3 cm; (plate) 33.3 x 23.1 cm
Condition: strong impressions with wide margins (as published). The margins show signs of significant handling (i.e. bumped, chipped and folded edges with some losses, tears, stains and general dustiness) but the plate areas (i.e. the images) are in good condition.

I am selling these four 18th century etchings originally used for art students to study and copy for AU$118 in total (currently US$85.88/EUR76.19/GBP59.60 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this set of early anatomical studies from 1765, please contact me (oz jim@printsandprinciples.com) and l will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.










This is my second set of anatomical prints by Smith that I've posted. Like the earlier ones these also employ the stipple technique for which he is famous. Smith often used stippling to resemble pencil lines but in these prints the stippling reproduces the softer effect of chalk lines.

Interestingly, even though these studies are designed to help art students to understand a figure's anatomy, Smith seems unconcerned about sustaining a consistent angle of lighting in his prints. One may argue that artists should always choose the best angle of lighting that helps to "explain" a subject's form—in this case the various bones of a skeleton—but as most artists who are familiar with perception theory know, this idea is problematic. The problem is that the perception of form is largely culturally driven and for Western viewers (i.e. those that read from left-to-right rather than Persian, Arabic or Hebrew viewers who read from right-to-left) the best direction for lighting a form is usually from the top-front-left.

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