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Thomas Bewick (1753-1828), Wood-engraver

Sitter associated with 5 portraits
At the age of fourteen Bewick was apprenticed to Ralph Beilby, an engraver in Newcastle. He devoted himself to engraving on wood, and is credited with reviving this art and establishing it as a major form of printmaking. Bewick developed the technique of cutting a design into hardwood cut across, rather than with, the grain, using a sharp tool called a bruin. In 1775, he received a payment from the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce for a wood engraving of the Huntsman and the Old Hound. Bewick's most important works are illustrations for books such as A General History of Quadrupeds (1790) and A History of British Birds (1797 and 1804).

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971

Unknown man, formerly known as Thomas Bewick

attributed to Thomas Sword Good
oil on canvas, circa 1809-1810
NPG 971

319

Thomas Bewick

by James Ramsay
oil on canvas, 1823
NPG 319

D1064

Thomas Bewick

by John Burnet, after James Ramsay
line engraving, published 1817
NPG D1064

D31747

Thomas Bewick

by Frederick Bacon, after James Ramsay
line engraving, 1852
NPG D31747

D42310

Thomas Bewick

by Frederick Bacon, after James Ramsay
line engraving, 1852
NPG D42310