‘Drawing on Copper’: The Basire Family of Copper-Plate Engravers and their Works
Julian Pooley FSA writes with news of a book about copper-plate engraving. Four generations of the Basire family of skilled printmakers, draughtsmen, and engravers, spanning 1730–1883, were celebrated for their skill in drawing, on copper and stone, accurate representations of monuments and antiquities. Their pictures can be found throughout Archaeologia, Vetusta Monumenta, and many of the most celebrated works of 18th- and 19th-century topography and antiquarianism (James Basire, 1730–1802, was engraver to the Society of Antiquaries for 20 years). Richard Goddard, a descendent of the Basire family, has published a meticulously researched and beautifully written study of their careers, interests and influence called ‘Drawing on Copper’: The Basire Family of Copper-Plate Engravers and their Works. It is beautifully illustrated by over 70 plates, says Pooley, and has six chapters assessing the medium of engraving and careers of successive members of the Basire family.