What is it about living by a river? For me I love being 'far from the madding crowd' I love the peace and tranquility that comes with walking in open countryside by the river. Having time to gather your thoughts, or clear you head, whichever is required. Maybe you feel the same about being by a river?
I'm a bit of a nomad so I tend to move home often. My wife says to me 'you're a Sagittarius' what do you expect? In the last 50 years I've lived close to the River Thames three times. Way back in the mid 70's I used to live in Goring on Thames, beautiful part of the river. I've lived in Richmond, London right on the river and Marble Hill Park in a beautiful conservation area. Now I live near Marlow in Buckinghamshire and walk the river as often as I can.
My love of the river mixed with my love of aquatint prints leads me to sharing these landscape views with you. These aquatint plates were produced for the Boydells' major colour publication 'History of the River Thames'. The two volumes originally published in 1794-6 contained sevent-six plates aquatinted by J.C. Stadler after the watercolours of Joseph Farington.
John Boydell, a land surveyor in the employment of his father, was inspired by an engraving by W.H. Toms to leave his home in Shropshire about 1750 and walk to London to apprentice himself to Toms. After six years, Boydell set up his own shop and thus began his career as one of the greatest of print publishers. One of John's later projects, published with Josiah his brother, was this series of views of the Thames River Valley. These prints are excellent examples of the art of aquatinting, and they provide an intimate look at the heart of England during the late eighteenth century.
Enjoy! If you're fortunate to live near a river, don't leave it to long before you take your next walk . . . .
You can see more from the series of prints HERE Where a selection of the plates are available.