Thomas Bewick is, without doubt, the most famous exponent of wood engraving ever to have emerged from this country. He was the outstanding pioneer of the technique of white-line engraving as a creative art form. Using this method upon blocks of boxwood, cut across the grain, Thomas Bewick achieved an accuracy and fineness of design which had previously only been seen from metal plates. He is best remembered for his outstanding book illustrations of animals and birds which represent one of the first serious attempts to study wildlife portrayed from nature and to capture the individual character of each species. However, it is Thomas Bewick’s rare independent prints which have always been the most sought-after by serious collectors.
A native of Northumberland, Thomas Bewick remained a country man throughout his life, and was an enthusiastic conservationist. Despite shunning the society of London, he achieved a remarkable reputation during his long and industrious lifetime, and his fame has continued to grow to the present century.