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).