“PERFECTION OF ROMANTIC LANDSCAPE”: ACKERMANN’S 1821 PICTURESQUE TOUR OF THE ENGLISH LAKES, WITH 48 SPLENDID HAND-COLORED AQUATINTS
(ACKERMANN, Rudolph) (ENGLAND—LAKE DISTRICT) FIELDING, Theodore Henry Adolphus and WALTON, James. A Picturesque Tour of the English Lakes, Containing a Description of the Most Romantic Scenery of Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Lancashire, with Accounts of Antient and Modern Manners and Customs, and Elucidations of the History and Antiquities of That Part of the Country. London: R. Ackermann (William Clowes), 1821. Quarto (8-1/2 by 10-1/2 inches), modern full marbled brown morocco, raised bands, red morocco spine label, marbled endpapers. $3200.
First edition of this wonderful visual record of the Lake District, one of only 850 copies, splendidly illustrated with aquatint vignette title page and 48 hand-colored aquatints of remarkable English scenery, including the Yewdale Crags, Windermere, Deepdale and Kirkstone.
In the history of book production "there is no more attractive figure than that of Rudolph Ackermann, through whose extraordinary enterprise and spirit of adventure, aquatint was successfully applied to the illustration of books" (Prideaux, 120-23). One of Ackermann's most lucrative projects was his remarkable Picturesque Tours, a series of seven books produced between 1820-28. This is his Picturesque Tour of the English Lakes, first issued in 12 monthly parts, and then in book form in an edition of only 850 copies, with 48 beautifully hand-colored aquatints after paintings by Theodore Fielding and James Walton. The plates were pulled and hand-colored in the Ackermann studio, whose reputation for producing splendid illustrated publications and disseminating fine aquatint prints spanned over two centuries. In his Preface, Ackermann boasts that "In truth, in all that constitutes the perfection of romantic landscape, England is without a rival." Abbey, Scenery 192. Tooley 219. Prideaux, 336.
Faint, occasional foxing and light soiling to text and plates as often, binding fine. An exceptionally good copy.