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Storer, H. S. (Henry Sargant), 1795–1837

Sixty-four original designs & drawings illustrative of Cowper's poems &c. by H. St. Storer.

Additional Title(s):

Sixty-four original designs and drawings illustrative of Cowper's poems &c. by H. St. Storer

Great Britain, 1822.
Physical Description:
1 v. (80 leaves) : ill. ; 30 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
PR3383 .S8 1822+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Bound in contemporary half calf (rebacked) and marbled boards, with marbled endpapers. In a similar slip case.
Album of 55 hand-colored proof engravings, 9 finished watercolor drawings, and 17 graphite drawings illustrating the works and life of William Cowper. The unnumbered title leaf, informally written in graphite, suggests the volume is the work of H.S. Storer, whose father James Storer had illustrated earlier published works by Cowper. James Storer is not credited in the manuscript, but as he worked wholly in conjunction with his son from 1814 (see DNB) it is conceivable that he also made contributions to the present volume. A graphite drawing on leaf 65 is dated 1815; all other illustrations are undated. The proof engravings are printed on paper watermarked with various dates from 1818 to 1822; some of the leaves at the end of the volumes are also watermarked 1822, so it is reasonable to assume that the manuscript was completed on or about that year. All illustrations, including proofs and original drawings, are on separate pieces of paper pasted into the volume.
The first 55 leaves bear proof engravings. They were likely intended for inclusion in an illustrated work on Cowper that was never published. The illustrations are very different in character from those drawn and engraved by James Storer in his Cowper, illustrated by a series of views (London : Vernor and Hood, 1803). The engravings in the earlier work nearly filled an octavo page with intricate line work depicting details, tones, and textures. The present proof engravings are much smaller (uniformly 39 x 54 mm) and, although clearly finished, use a much lighter surface of engraved lines. Tones are achieved with hand-colored washes. Each proof is framed within a different decorative border drawn in pen and brown ink, some with brown wash. The first 34 proofs (and proof 55) are visual interpretations of scenes in Cowper's poetry. Each of these is identified with the name of the poem and a short excerpt of verse. Poems illustrated include "Heroism", "The moralizer corrected", "The needless alarm", "The progress of error", "Retirement", "Table talk", "The task", "Tirocinium, or, A review of schools", "Truth", and "The Yearly distress". The next 20 proof engravings depict Cowper's homes and haunts, especially at Weston Underwood and Olney.
Leaves 56-62 bear watercolor sketches depicting Weston and Olney, drawn in the manner of the preceding engravings, although slightly larger. Aside from the first of these (which depicts Cowper's easy chair), the watercolors are all framed by very elaborate borders which themselves contain figures and scenery to complement the main scene. Leaves 63-79 bear graphite drawings of a more unfinished nature and depict similar Cowper haunts, along with "Dr. Johnson's horse" and "Cowper's dressing case". Some of these are the basis for the proof engravings fround earlier in the volume; others have notes suggesting that they were the originals of engravings published in The rural walks of Cowper. This last section also includes two large pen and ink sketches. The first, "Olney from Weston Park", is toned with gray wash; the second, ""Goosey bridge near Olney, where Cowper's dog found the Lily", with watercolors. Both are the originals of proof engravings found earlier in the volume.
Subject Terms:
Cowper, William, 1731-1800 -- Homes and haunts -- Pictorial works.
Cowper, William, 1731-1800. Poems.
Olney (England) -- Pictorial works.
Storer, H. S. (Henry Sargant), 1795-1837.
Storer, James, 1771-1853.
Storer, James, 1771-1853. Rural walks of Cowper.
Weston-upon-Trent (England) -- Pictorial works.
Engraver's proofs.
Ink drawings.
Graphite drawings.
Storer, James, 1771-1853.

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