Samuel Cousins

Samuel Cousins

Samuel Cousins (May 9, 1801-May 7, 1887) was an English mezzotint engraver, born at Exeter.

He was preeminently the interpreter of Sir Thomas Lawrence, his contemporary. During his apprenticeship to S. W. Reynolds he engraved many of the best amongst the three hundred and sixty little mezzotints illustrating the works of Sir Joshua Reynolds which his master issued in his own name. In the finest of his numerous transcripts of Lawrence, such as "Lady Acland and her Sons", "Pope Pius VII" and "Master Lambton", the distinguishing characteristics of the engravers work, brilliancy and force of effect in a high key, corresponded exactly with similar qualities in the painter.

After the introduction of steel for engraving purposes about the year 1823, Cousins and his contemporaries were compelled to work on it, because the soft copper previously used for mezzotint plates did not yield a sufficient number of fine impressions to enable the method to compete commercially against line engraving, from which much larger editions were obtainable. The painter-like quality which distinguished the 18th century mezzotints on copper was wanting in his later works, because the hardness of the steel on which they were engraved impaired freedom of execution and richness of tone, and so enhanced the labor of scraping that he accelerated the work by stipple, etching the details instead of scraping them out of the ground in the manner of his predecessors. To this mixed style, previously used by Richard Earlom on copper, Cousins added heavy roulette and rocking-tool textures, tending to fortify the darks, when he found that the burr even on steel failed to yield enough fine impressions to meet the demand. The effect of his prints in this method after Reynolds and Millais was mechanical and out of harmony with the picturesque technique of these painters, but the phenomenal popularity which Cousins gained for his works at least kept alive and in favor a form of mezzotint engraving during a critical phase of its history. Abraham Raimbach, the line engraver, dated the decline of his own art in England from the appearance in 1837 of Cousins's print (in the mixed style) after Landseer's Bolton Abbey. Such plates as Miss Peel, after Lawrence (published in 1833); A Midsummer Nights Dream, after Landseer (1857); The Order of Release and The First inuet, after Millais (1856 and 1868); The Strawberry Girl and Lavinia, Countess Spencer, after Reynolds; and Miss Rich, after Hogarth (1873-1877), represent various stages of Cousins's mixed method. It reached its final development in the plates after Millais's Cherry Ripe and Pomona, published it in 1881 and 1882, when the invention of coating copper-plates with a film of steel to make them yield larger editions led to the revival of pure mezzotint on copper, which has since rendered obsolete the steel plate and the mixed style which it fostered. The fine draughtsmanship of Cousins was as apparent in his prints as in his original lead-pencil portraits exhibited in London in 1882. In 1885 he was elected a full member of the Royal Academy, to which institution he later gave in trust £15,000 to provide annuities for superannuated artists who had not been so successful as himself. One of the most important figures in the history of British engraving, he died in London, unmarried, on May 7 1887.

See George Pycroft, M.R.C.S.E., "Memoir of Samuel Cousins", R.A., Member of the Legion of Honor (published for private circulation by E. E. Leggatt, London, 1899); Algernon Graves, Catalogue of the Works of Samuel Cousins, RA. (published by H. Graves and Co., London, 1888); and Alfred Whitman, Samuel Cousins (published by George Bell & Sons, London, 1904), which contains a catalogue, good illustrations, and much detail useful to the collector and dealer. (G. P. R.)

Not to be confused with the other Samuel Edward Cousins who is a graduate at Exeter University

External links

*Alfred Whitman (1904). [ "Samuel Cousins"] . Illustrated, from Internet Archive

External links

* [ Find-A-Grave profile for Samuel Cousins]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cousins (surname) — Cousins is a surname, and may refer to: Alan William James Cousins Ben Cousins (born 1978), Australian rules footballer Christian and Joseph Cousins Dave Cousins, American archer Dave Cousins, leader of the UK band Strawbs David Cousins DeMarcus… …   Wikipedia

  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge — For the late 19th century classical composer, see Samuel Coleridge Taylor. Samuel Taylor Coleridge Coleridge in 1795. Born 21 October 1772(1772 10 21) Ottery St. Mary, Devon, England …   Wikipedia

  • SAMUEL, WILFRED SAMPSON — (1886–1958), British businessman and historian. Born in London, the son of a steel pen manufacturer who died soon after his birth, Samuel was educated in Belgium and Germany. In 1904, with several of his cousins who had been piano manufacturers,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Samuel Prescott — (August 19, 1751 – c. 1777) was a Massachusetts Patriot during the American Revolutionary War. He is best remembered for his role in the midnight ride to warn the townspeople of Concord of the impending British army move to capture military… …   Wikipedia

  • Samuel McIntire — (January 16, 1757 mdash; February 6, 1811) was an American architect and craftsman. He was one of the earliest architects in the United States, and was one of the primary examples of Federal style architecture.Born in Salem, Massachusetts to… …   Wikipedia

  • Samuel F. Tappan — Samuel Forster Tappan (June 29, 1831 ndash; January 6, 1913) was an American journalist, military officer, abolitionist and a Native American rights activist. He advocated self determination for native tribes and proposed the federal government… …   Wikipedia

  • Samuel M. Clark — Samuel Mercer Clark (* 11. Oktober 1842 bei Keosauqua, Van Buren County, Iowa; † 11. August 1900 in Keokuk, Iowa) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker. Zwischen 1895 und 1899 vertrat er den Bundesstaat Iowa im US Repräsentantenhaus. Werdegang… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Samuel Ryan Curtis — (* 3. Februar 1805 bei Champlain, New York; † 26. Dezember 1866 in Council Bluffs, Iowa) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker und Offizier. Leben Curtis wurde im Clinton C …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cousins — (spr. kös ns), Samuel, engl. Kupferstecher, geb. 9. Mai 1801 in Exeter, gest. 7. Mai 1887 in London, war Schüler von S. William Reynolds, bei dem er sich in der Mezzotinto und Aquatintamanier ausbildete, und wurde 1855 Mitglied der Akademie. Er… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cousins — (spr. kössĭns), Samuel, engl. Kupferstecher in Mezzotintomanier, geb. 1801 zu Exeter, gest. 7. Mai 1887 in London; bes. fürstl. Bildnisse nach Winterhalter u.a …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.