London: printed for R. Blamire, Strand, M.DCC.LXXXVI . Full Calf. First Edition of one of the earliest guides to the Lake district, complete in two volumes. 8vo: ,xxxi,,xvi,230; ,268,xivpp, with 30 sepia acquaints and soft-ground etched plates, including 3 maps with watercolor wash, by Joseph Farington. Full cat's-paw calf, boards framed with gilt roll, spine in six compartment, each with gilt stylized tree ornament, between raised bands; gilt edges and dentelles, red leather lettering and numbering pieces gilt, blue marbled endpapers, pink silk page markers. Rebacked with original spine relaid, very occasional scattered spotting (bit more to first few leaves of each volume), offsetting from plates to adjacent leaves, else excellent examples. Abbey 187. Upcott I, p. 124. Prideaux, p. 337. Hardie, p. 120 (for a description of Gilpin's tinting technique). Chilvers and Osborne, 202. Lowndes II 894-95. Cox, Travel III, p. 32. Fine. Item #BB1615
According to Chilvers & Osborne, Gilpin was "first to establish the picturesque as an aesthetic category and by his numerous writings, illustrated by his own fine aquatints, he exerted a profound and lasting influence on both English and European taste in natural and artificial scenery and landscape painting." His Essay on Prints, published anonymously in 1768, first defines ‘picturesque’ as a "term expressive of that peculiar kind of beauty, which is agreeable in a picture." A more detailed definition required the examples of his picturesque tours, published between 1782 and 1809 (and eventually running to eleven volumes), all with the same title format: Observations on [various regions of Britain] relative chiefly to picturesque beauty. "Gilpin's picturesque tours display a deep and sincere feeling of the beauties of nature; a pure taste and sound judgment; and are written in a style appropriate to the subject and worthy of the matter." (Lowndes) N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).