The watercolourist and etcher the Reverend Edward Thomas Daniell is considered one of the most distinguished printmakers to emerge from the Norwich School. E.T. Daniell’s sensitive and sophisticated etchings and drypoints were far in advance of their time. Although dating from as early as 1824, his works are essentially modern in style, anticipating the ‘plein air’ approach of the Etching Revival. Further than this, E.T. Daniell succeeded in capturing the atmosphere of pure naturalistic landscape which is so characteristic of the works of the Norwich School.
Born in London, Edward Thomas Daniell was brought up in Norfolk where he was instructed in drawing by John Crome. He was first guided in the art of etching by his neighbour, Joseph Stannard. An influential figure in the art world throughout his life, E.T. Daniell was already a patron of William Blake and John Linnell (who went on to draw his portrait) while at university. He was ordained in 1831 and lived for two years as a curate in Norfolk.
In 1833 the Reverend Edward Thomas Daniell became curate of St. Martin’s, North Audley Street, in London, and it was whilst in this position that he became J.M.W. Turner’s confidant. He had a consuming passion for travel and antiquities and whilst on a sketching expedition to Lycia, succumbed to a fever, dying at Adalia in Turkey on September 23rd, 1842.
Early impressions of E.T. Daniell’s etched works are extremely rare as, in most cases, no formal edition was ever printed.