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William Spreat’s Picturesque sketches of the churches of Devonshire (1842)

S. W. Cupboard 1842 SPR X

William Spreat, (1816-1897), was a talented engraver and publisher who was active in Exeter in the mid-nineteenth century.   His series of exceptional lithographs of Devon churches provides an important document of local ecclesiastical architecture in the 1840s, including the old church at Bicton, demolished by the orders of Lady Rolle in 1850.

The seventy-four lithographs were originally published in eighteen parts before being brought together in a single volume in 1842.  They  reveal the artist’s awareness of the fashion for the picturesque which framed architecture within the beauty of natural landscapes and juxtaposed man and nature.

I’ve been rescued!