Melton prior Institut


Linton- Life in the Collections

Wassili Nikolajewitsch Masjutin:

15) Thomas Bewick. Sein Leben und sein Werk. Eine Untersuchung über die technischen Grundlagen des Holzschnittes nebst einer kritischen Würdigung des Schaffens Th. Bewicks.

Berlin 1923

This excellent study by the Russian sculptor, illustrator and stage designer Wassili Nikolajewitsch Masjutin, a workmate of Vladimir Majakowski, is a committed effort to elevate the reputation of graphic arts and to enthrone an artisan like Thomas Bewick in the canon of fine arts next to a William Turner. Masjutin had read his Ruskin and, even more, his Linton. Although he did not agree with the latter’s evaluation of the issues of Bewick’s apprentices as being partly superior to their master, he substantiates Linton’s expressive imperative, that the only technique of worth is to draw with the graver. Moreover he emphasised Linton’s view of the creative superiority of the white line technique and compared the status of Bewick’s discovery with that of Newton’s law of gravitation. The carefully illustrated publication provides evidence of Linton’s influence on the Russian wood engraving revival, which had started shortly after the October Revolution with the work of Vladimir Andreevich Favorskii.