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Ian Dunn

He has now been celebrated in a book produced by the University of Chester Press, George Cuitt (1779–1854) – ‘England’s Piranesi’: His Life and Work and a Catalogue Raisonné of his Etchings by the late Peter Boughton, Keeper of Art at The Grosvenor Museum, and Ian Dunn, formerly County Archivist of Cheshire. It is the first definitive collection of the artist’s work. Both authors are honorary graduates of the University of Chester and elected Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries.

Cuitt, who lived and worked in Chester and North Yorkshire was an accomplished sketcher and painter of landscapes and architecture and was inspired by the Roman prints of Giovanni Battista Piranesi to adopt etching as the medium for his published work.

Born in Richmond, North Yorkshire, Cuitt trained as an artist under his father’s tuition and, in 1804, began a highly profitable career as a drawing master and artist in Chester  where he was to produce and publish over half of his total work, so successfully that he was able to return to Yorkshire in 1821 where he built a fine house and produced his celebrated series of etchings of Yorkshire abbeys, considered by many to be his finest works, and described by a leading expert as having ‘no equal in Britain and no superior in the similar school of any nation.’ 

For the first time all Cuitt’s known etchings – both published and unpublished are here illustrated and described, revealing his unique ability to combine an atmospheric, romantic and poetic vision of the buildings and landscapes of Chester, North Wales, Cumbria, Warwickshire and Yorkshire with remarkable topographical accuracy. The catalogue is accompanied by newly-researched essays and a biography of Cuitt, incorporating much recently discovered material. Topics covered include Cuitt’s art, the important role of the drawing master in Regency England, the process of etching and the economics of print production and distribution.

The hardback book can be purchased directly from the publisher through its online ordering system or through booksellers and distributors.

For email or phone enquiries contact Dr Sarah Griffiths or 01244 513305.


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