Designs from Fancy: George Romney's Shakespearean Drawings

By Yvonne Romney Dixon | Go to book overview

Notes
1
The printer, John Baskerville, commissioned James Whatman, the most famous and accomplished of English paper makers, to develop wove paper, and it was first used in Baskerville's 1757 edition of Virgil. For discussion of wove paper during this period, see John Krill, English Artists' Paper; Renaissance to Regency ( London: Trefoil Press, 1987), 65-75, and Leonard B. Schlosser, A History of Paper. Paper--Art and Technology, 2d ed. ( San Francisco: World Print Council, 1981), 2-19. ( Krill's book has an interesting account of Romney contemporary Thomas Gainsborough's thwarted attempts to purchase wove paper.)
2
Only a portion of the watermark is visible in quarto, octavo, or smaller papers because the sheets of paper containing the whole image were folded and cut to the size of the book being made. The Britannia watermark originated from Dutch papermakers' widespread use of the Pro Patria motif of the Maid of Holland. When English craftsmen like James Whatman I traveled to Holland to learn their trade, they copied paper fabrication methods exactly--including the Dutch watermark design. The figure evolved and became a quintessentially English symbol. The use of royal ciphers had become popular with the public and was widely adopted. The initials GR--though not exclusively applied to royal ciphers--usually stand for Georgius Rex or Gulielmus Rex. W. A. Churchill, Watermarks in Paper in Holland, England, France, Etc., in the XVII & XVIII Centuries & their Interconnection ( Amsterdam: Menno Hertzberger & Co., 1935).
3
Usually the more intense the discoloration of the paper, the more advanced the degradation of the cellulose--which forms the paper fibers--and the more compromised the flexibility.
4
See page 149 for a complete description of the album's provenance and ownership.
5
It is an interesting irony that evidence of the original sketchbook is revealed through damage incurred by the paper.

-139-

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