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Peacham, Henry, 1576?-1643?

The first booke of drawing & limning.

Additional Title(s):

First booke of drawing and limning

Great Britain, circa 1700?
Physical Description:
1 v. (5-129, [1] leaves) : ill. ; 15 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
NC905 .P4 1700z
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
The author and illustrator Henry Peacham wrote some of the earliest instructional works on graphic arts in English intended specifically for non-professionals, or gentlemen. The first of these publications was The art of drawing with the pen (London, 1606), a treatise on drawing and watercolors. In 1612, this work was expanded and retitled Graphice. The work was reissued the same year, with a new frontispiece, as The gentleman's exercise. Further expansions appeared in 1634 and 1661. Cf. Levy, F.J. "Henry Peacham and The Art of Drawing." Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes. Vol. 37 (1974), pp. 174-190.
Title from caption title at head of leaf 6.
Bound in sprinkled calf.
Manuscript abridgment, by an unidentified copyist, of Henry Peacham's Graphice, or his The gentleman's exercise (nearly identical texts first published in 1612). The volume is inscribed "Will Osborn's book", but it is unclear if Osborn is responsible for its production. The text is written in pen and brown ink throughout, in an early 18th-century hand, perhaps by a single copyist. The manuscript includes numerous illustrations, also copied from originals in the printed versions. Illustrations are in pen and brown ink, with occasional simple color washes. All leaves are numbered and ruled, with running titles. The first 100 leaves contain writing on the recto only. Leaves 101-122 also have text on the verso, written upside down (i.e., from back to front). The final leaf contains the only text not copied from Peacham, on "To make wax flowers" and "To make henns lay eggs all ye winter".
Most sections of Peacham's text are represented in an abridged form in the manuscript, although the order of chapters is slightly transposed. The copyist omits the introductory chapters in which Peacham defends the practice of drawing by gentlemen. He also omits portions of Peacham's text on allegory. Present are all of the instructional chapters. These includes instructions on drawing faces and figures, beasts and birds, landscapes, drapery, and diapering, along with shadow and perspective. The middle section of the text offers recipes for gums, gilding, and numerous colors of paint. Also copied is a chapter on "The manner of annealing & painting upon glass". The final portion of the manuscript text concerns the "blazon of armes", with assorted notes and illustrations on heraldry. This portion was first published in the 1612 versions of Peacham's work.
Subject Terms:
Drawing -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Drawing -- Technique.
Glass painting and staining -- Technique -- Early works to 1800.
Heraldry -- Early works to 1800.
Landscape drawing -- Technique -- Early works to 1800.
Osborn, William -- Autograph.
Osborn, William.
Paint mixing -- Early works to 1800.
Painting -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Painting -- Technique.
Peacham, Henry, 1576?-1643? Art of drawing with the pen, and limming in water colours.
Peacham, Henry, 1576?-1643? Gentleman's exercise.
Peacham, Henry, 1576?-1643? Graphice.
Watercolor -- Technique -- Early works to 1800.
Watercolor painting -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Watercolor painting -- Technique.
Workshop recipes -- Early works to 1800.
Handbooks and manuals.
Drawing books.
Ink drawings.
Wash drawings.

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