Linton- Life in the Collections
Colonel W. Reid:
26) An Attempt to Develop the Law of Storms.
London. 1838 / 1846
After having engraved a few years, employed in the workshops of William Henry Powis and John Thompson, Linton started in 1838 to work as a freelance engraver. For a certain “Colonel Reid, a gaunt Scotchman, the author of the Law of Storms (...) I did the first engraving on my own account, cuts of wrecks and wind-driven ships, designed by Duncan.” (Memories) He executed these images of a wild, unleashed nature in a very stormy year. In 1838, the Six Points of the People’s Charta were put forth, a document which gave name to the first organized working-class mass movement in history. During the following decade, political activities for the Chartists – speeches, pamphleteering, charity activities etc. - would absorb the better part of Linton’s energy.
The storm engravings are the first presentable examples of Linton’s technique of white line engraving in which he followed the tradition of Thomas Bewick. Most influential were the works of the admired Bewick disciples Luke Clennell, Charlton Nesbit and John Thompson. Much more than the master himself, these members of the Bewick workshop represented to him “the morning and the full-noon splendour of the art of Wood Engraving” (Masters of Wood Engraving)