An epitome of painting : containing breife directions for drawing, painting, limning, and cryoons : wth. the choicest receipts for preparing the colours for limning and cryoons : likewise directions for painting on glass, as tis now in use amongst all persons of quality : and lastly, how to lay the ground, and work in mezzo tinto / all by Edward Luttrell, 1683.
- Great Britain, 1683.
- Physical Description:
- 1 v. (, 68 p., with numerous blanks at end) : ill. ; 24 cm.
- Rare Books and ManuscriptsNE1815.L88 E65 1683Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon CollectionAccessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
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- Copyright Status:
- Copyright Information
- Archives & Manuscripts
- Edward Luttrell (fl. circa 1680-1724) was an English engraver and portrait painter, likely related to the Luttrell family of Saunton Court, Devon. He received instruction in pastel portraiture from Edmund Ashfield, shortly after giving up the study of law. He is perhaps most notable as one of the earliest English pioneers in the art of mezzotint engraving, a technique he utilized for reproducing his own pastels. Luttrell probably lived in Westminster and appears to have been one of the 12 founding members of the Academy in Great Queen Street in 1711. Cf. Grove Art Online; ODNB.
Provenance: Dorothy Luttrell; Sir Thomas Phillipps; Lionel and Philip Robinson; Sotheby's, 29 June 1965 (lot 178); Paul Mellon.
Bound in contemporary calf; rebacked.
Selected exhibitions: "Paul Mellon's Legacy: A Passion for British Art" (Yale Center for British Art, 18 April-29 July, 2007).
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Manuscript treatise on painting, mezzotint engraving, and other art techniques, by Edward Luttrell, written in 1683. The unpublished text appears to be in Luttrell's hand throughout (exept for a later addendum), in pen and brown ink. Luttrell gives precise instructions, with occasional diagrams, for the various branches of art mentioned in the title. He emphasizes in his preface that he does not "designe to make a rhetorical preamble concerning painting for that is out of my sphear, butt to discover to you in the plainest terms first the difficulty of itt and then the ready way to attaine itt" (p. [v]). His notes on the art of the "mezzo tinto" are perhaps the first detailed account in English of the technique of mezzotint engraving. The manuscript is effusively dedicated by Edward Luttrell "to his much honored and most ingenuous kinswoman Maddam Dorothy Lutrell."
In the important section on "Mezzo Tinto" (pages 45-47), Luttrell describes the steel roller that the artist must use to ground a copper plate and details the process that he says was "first invented by Prince Rupert and improved by W Vailant to whome the Prince taught itt." To obtain the necessary equipment for mezzotint engraving, Luttrell notes, "You may have severall of them 'a roule of good steel' made some finer and some courser by one Haines, a file cutter att the two Crowns in ye Little Minories."
In other sections of the treatise, Luttrell describes the steps that an aspiring artist must take in order to learn drawing and painting, describing and illustrating the proportions of a human face, for example, in his section on portraiture. Luttrell covers such vital information as the flattery of one's subject, describing how to disguise flaws in a sitter's countenance. In addition to portraiture, Luttrell instructs his reader on limning, the painting of miniatures, the accurate depiction of fabrics, glass transfer painting, and "the manner of washing [i.e. coloring] of prints."
The final section (pages 55-68) appears to be in a later, unidentified hand. It offers detailed instruction on varnishing and japanning. The entry on the japanning of boxes instructs: "strew ye speckles on by taking a few between yr finger & thumb letting ym fall gently & as they fall distribute ym with yr breath gently & that will lay ym gradually alike ... " (p. 57).
- Subject Terms:
- Ashfield, Edmund, fl. 1673-1700.Drawing -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.Drawing -- Technique -- Early works to 1800.Japanning -- Technique -- Early works to 1800.Luttrell, Dorothy.Luttrell, Edward.Mezzotint engraving -- Technique -- Early works to 1800.Miniature painting -- Technique -- Early works to 1800.Painting -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.Painting -- Technique -- Early works to 1800.Pastel drawing -- Technique -- Early works to 1800.Phillipps, Thomas, Sir, 1792-1872 -- Ownership.Portrait painting -- Technique -- Early works to 1800.Transfer-printing -- Technique -- Early works to 1800.Varnish and varnishing -- Technique -- Early works to 1800.Workshop recipes -- Early works to 1800.
- Drawing books.
Handbooks and manuals.
Edward Luttrell, An Epitome of Painting. Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.