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An Anecdotal Eye

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The work of Thomas Bewick

Self-taught as an artist, Thomas Bewick (1753 – 1828) was an instinctive observer and recorder of his age. His mind and eye were sensitively attuned to the world around him and in his many engravings he created unique narratives in miniature of the Ways of Nature and the Ways of Men. Sometimes his vision is frankly descriptive - locating a bird or a beast in its habitat - but often, and especially in his imaginative 'vignettes' (small illustrations), he is a discerning witness of the human world about him.

Born alongside the river Tyne at Cherryburn, and trained in nearby Newcastle as a general engraver, Bewick spent practically all his life in the north east of England. Always a countryman at heart he loved the life and lore of the fields, the farms and the rivers and found in the recording of this lore much to cherish. His observations of animals and birds, published by himself as volumes of natural history, are exquisite illustrations sensitively portraying the creatures in their natural habitat. Alongside these pictures of nature he invariably took the opportunity to shrewdly comment on the manners and character of the humans in the landscape and the small pictorial accounts of everyday life allow us to witness the private and public lives of the ordinary man or woman in the Eighteenth century world in which he lived.

Thomas Bewick left to posterity an important record of that century; a record that accompanies and supplements the prints and paintings of William Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough and the works of writers such as Robert Burns and William Cobbett.

Exhibition Specifications

55 framed wood engraved printsof The work of Thomas Bewick taken from the original wood blocks together with a small selection (12) of work by contemporary engravers inspired by Bewick.

Introductory graphic panel and explanatory labels

Optional: Display of engraving tools and blocks (not the originals).

Educational work sheets to the exhibition: a set supplied to venues to copy and use for gallery/museum educational classes only.

Professionally designed poster supplied in pdf format to be adapted for printing by venue.

Gallery Requirements

25-30 running meters.


Exhibitions require patrolling during opening hours and a comprehensive alarm system & secure premises at night

Hiring Fee

£150/week for a minimum of three weeks.

Transport Costs

Venues to arrange forward transport or take advantage of an inclusive transport tariff whichever is preferred.


Please contact: Dr Leo John Defreitas


For more information please contact Graphicus Touring on 01295 256110