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J.M.W. Turner. 1775-1851.

Cloucester Cathedral. (also called Boston Stump or The Hare) c.1825. Mezzotint. Rawlinson 809b. Image: 7 1/2 x 10; plate: 7 3/8 x 10; sheet: 11 4/16 x 14 13/16). Series: Little Liber, or Sequels to the Liber Studiorum. A rich impression printed in warm brown ink on cream-wove paper. As the Little Liber Studiorum was not published or widely distributed, prints from this series are considered extremely scarce. $4,250.

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Gloucester Cathedral is part of a series of 12 mezzotints of sea and landscapes created by Joseph M. W. Turner (1775-1851) that have come to be known as the Little Liber Studiorum. The mezzotints are based on original watercolors by Turner. It is traditionally assumed that Turner created these prints himself and used the mezzotint process as it simulated the appearance of watercolor and in recognition of their commercial viability. The 1820 introduction of steel mezzotint plates (as opposed to copper, which produced very limited quality impressions before the plate wore down and required reworking) may have prompted him to make a new series of prints. The Little Liber Studiorum only presents ethereal, atmospheric scenes, representative of the iconic paintings for which he is now famous.

For a discussion of the Little Liber works on the Tate website, please visit Little Liber.

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