Cabinet 04


By the time of his death in 1954, JBW had produced 1000 prints, of which 600 were book illustrations; 400 on wood and about 200 on copper. Goethe's Die Leiden des Jungens Werthers (1931) was the third JBW book from Stols's Halcyon Press and it contained copper engravings, the first time he used them for book illustrations. Ten engravings were produced for this rather scarce book. JBW was critical of his own technique and did not like the end-results.

The Engravings of John Buckland Wright. Edited and with an introduction by Christopher Buckland Wright. Aldershot, Hants.: Ashgate Editions, 1990. Special NE 1147.6 B83 BX12.

Donne Moi

Jean-Louis Vaudoyer (1883-1963), the French poet, novelist, and art historian wrote Donne-moi ton Coeur (Give me your heart...) in 1931. This is the only copper engraving in the book and shows the influence of the French engraver J. E. Laboureur (1847-1943; Reid). JBW lived on the continent from 1926 to 1939. His appreciation for the European tradition of engraving did much for the English graphic arts scene when he lived in London from 1939 onwards.

Frontispiece illustration from Jean-Louis Vaudoyer, Donne-moi ton Coeur. Maastricht: Editions A. A. M. Stols, 1931. Private Collection.


JBW was a member of La Société de la Gravure Originale Belge and Les Xylographes Belges. When exhibiting with Les Xylographes Belges in 1929, his work caught the attention of Jan Greshoff (1888-1971), the Dutch poet and journalist, and co-founder of De Zilverdistel, the first Dutch private press. It was Greshoff who recognized JBW's talents and the one who really discovered JBW's qualities as a book illustrator. Here is JBW's portrait wood engraving of Greshoff from the poet's own Gedichten 1907-1934 (1934).

Anthony Reid, A Check-list of the Book Illustrations of John Buckland Wright. Pinner, Middlesex: Private Libraries Association, 1968. Special NE 1147.6 B83 RB13.

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University of Otago Master of the Burin: The Book Illustrations of John Buckland Wright, 1897 - 1954 <