- Museum number
- Series: Set of birds dedicated to Lord Maitland
Plate 16: a goose fighting with a dog, while an old lady emerges from a cottage brandishing a broomstick; goslings in the foreground, pigs, an owl, a fox, and cattle in the background, and landscape with a church in the distance. 1686
- Production date
Height: 221 millimetres
Width: 303 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Text from Antony Griffiths, 'The Print in Stuart Britain', BM 1998 cat.89)
The set dedicated to Lord Maitland is the largest in format of Barlow's bird designs. Its history, like that of all Barlow's sets, is complicated. The original titleplate (of which an impression is in the British Library, 433 b.13) carries a dedication of the series by Pierce Tempest, the publisher, to Lord Maitland. It does not have a title as such, but the the lettering refers to the prints as 'has avium tabulas celeberrima Francisci Barlow manu quam elegantissime delineatas'. Richard Maitland (1653-95), later the 4th Earl of Lauderdale, had one of the finest collections of old master prints in England which he sold in 1688-9. Tempest dealt in old as well as modern prints, and was doubtless one of his principal suppliers.
Although the titlepage is undated, the set was advertised in the London Gazette for 18 October 1686 as 'a new book of various kinds of birds, lately drawn after the life in their natural actions by Mr Barlow. Curiously engraven upon large copper plates and printed upon 10 sheets of paper, useful for painters, carvers, gravers, designers etc.' In the Term Catalogue for December 1686, which refers to 'the famous Mr Barlow, the number of sheets had increased to twelve. In the final edition there were fifteen. The plates were etched by Griffier (five), Francis Place (eight), Richard Gaywood and Jan Kip (one each). One of the original drawings survives in the Witt collection (Courtauld Institute). It is this set that Tempest refers to in a letter to Francis Place in January 1686.
The plates were later acquired by Edward Cooper, who reworked the first plate, removing the dedication to Maitland and adding a new title 'Various birds and beasts drawn from the life by Francis Barlow'. This impression comes from Cooper's edition, and bears his name in the lower right corner. After Cooper's retirement in 1723, the plates were bought by John Bowles, who divided them into two sets of eight with new numbering. A still later edition was jointly published by Thomas Bowles, John Bowles and Robert Sayer in a single volume containing a collection of sixty-seven Barlow plates (see British Library 433 b.13).
The plate displayed is an excellent example of Barlow's ability to transform the old tradition of the oblong natural history design into a delightful composition with its own animated story. Here the old women rushes from her cottage in order to break up the fight between two of her domestic animals.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2000 Jan-Mar, Ipswich, Christchurch Mansion, Printmaking in Stuart Britain
2000 May-Jul, Bristol, City Mus and AG, Printmaking in Stuart Britain
2000 Oct-Dec, Lancaster, Peter Scott Gallery, Printmaking in Stuart Britain
2000/1 Dec-Feb, Banff, Duff House, Printmaking in Stuart Britain
2001 Feb-May, Cardiff, National Mus, Printmaking in Stuart Britain
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number