Saturday - 01 November 2014

A recently rediscovered manuscript of William Gilpin’s book on Forest Scenery...

09 July 2001Written by ATG Reporter

UK: Sold for £48,000 to Quaritch at Christie’s on June 4& 6 was a recently rediscovered manuscript of William Gilpin’s book on Forest Scenery... (first published in 1791) that fills four volumes and contains 25 full and 20 half-page watercolour drawings by Gilpin, plus three pencil and wash drawings of animals by his brother Sawrey.

Gilpin was a proponent of the ‘Picturesque’ and his theories pervade the tree book that, on reading an early version, Horace Walpole proclaimed “perfectly new, truly ingenious”. A manuscript circulated amongst his friends and containing their comments and criticism, is now in the Bodleian, but the King Street copy (once owned by William Randolph Hearst) shows revisions and additions that indicate it was used as a model for publication.

The first section deals with individual trees, including the maple in Boldre churchyard under which he was eventually buried; the second with forests in general, and the third with the New Forest.

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ATG Reporter

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