Date 1874-01-31
Publication Academy
Topic WMR review of WH Wilshire reference book
AP display
RA display
Subject literature
Keywords artisanship
  ↳ achievement
  ↳ engraving
Standards thoroughness
  ↳ comparative merit

Annotation details

74 January 31 Academy


review of W.H. Wilshire's AnIntroduction to Study and Collection of Ancient Prints.


Rossetti, William M. "Fine Art." Academy (January 31, 1874): 128. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.


Rossetti reviews a book by William Hughes Wilshire (An Introduction to the Study and Collection of Ancient Prints), finding it to be well-researched, fairly presented and without too much personal bias. The technical aspects of printmaking (e.g., "the biting in fluid") reveal a level of expertise regarding printing processes on Rossetti's part. Like many of Rossetti's essays concerning painting and poetry, this book review also describes and explains several specific works, and to offer more clarity, he compares some of the prints to works of art by other artists.

Rossetti finds the volume lacking in illustrations and in need of correction for frequent instances of "far from elegant modes of speech." Also, Rossetti finds that some of Wilshire's translations of Latin script in several engravings require correction and clarification.

He suggests that a future edition might be improved by breaking it into two volumes and adding more illustrations. Regardless, Rossetti says the volume can be "heartily recommended," and closes with an extensive quote from one of Wilshire's summaries.


critical, educational


well-arranged [book], the chief forms of engraving, artisanship, technique, execution

Standards of Judgment:

writing quality, thoroughness, comparative merit


Dr. Wilshire, Mr. Maberly, Bartsch, Mr. Holt, Albert Dürer, Parmigiano, Siegen, Baccio Baldini, Maso Finiguerra, Passasavant, Weige, Vasari, Wenzel von Olmutz



Writing technique/tone:

critical, educational, analytical


"The leading objects are to condense information for students of the history and processes of Engraving, and to instruct tyros;" "Dr. Wilshire, while cautious and "safe" rather than speculative, is not bigoted, but ready to afford candid consideration to what can be adduced from varying points of view."