Melton prior Institut


Linton- Life in the Collections

Johann Gottfried Herder:

15) Der Cid nach spanischen Romanzen besungen durch Johann Gottfried von Herder. Mit Randzeichnungen von Eugen Neureuther.

Stuttgart / Tübingen 1838

The genesis of this German production, which is rendered in Hanebutt-Benz’ Studien zum deutschen Holzstich im 19. Jahrhundert (Frankfurt / Main 1984) gives an impression of the enormous difficulties, which had to be overcome by its publisher Georg Cotta. After the Munich xylographer Heinrich Neuer had failed to execute the detailed illustrations of Eugen Neureuther, Cotta commissioned a few London engravers, among them Orrin Smith and Linton’s teacher George Wilmot Bonner. The plan to provide the English xylographers with original drawings directly executed on the blocks failed as the Germans still did not know the fundamental speciality of the technique to use the end grain of wood. Also the process of printing proved to be an adventure. Only after a long phase of experiments, the Stuttgart printers succeeded to achieve acceptable results. From an artistic point of view however, this early German wood-engraved publication did not meet the expectations, neither of the illustrator nor of the publisher, as the English mode of hasty tonal engraving did not fit in with the linear gothic appeal of Neureuther’s drawing.