John Cleveley Junior (1747-1786)

Twelve Views in Surry (sic) & Kent, drawn from Nature by J. Cleveley Junr
Published by Carington Bowles, 1st October 1770.

These are the original drawings for the first of Cleveley’s two sets of engraved views of Surrey and Kent (Publ. 1770 and 1771). Each is traced in pencil and indented for transfer verso making them a rare survival of eighteenth-century Process Drawing for engraving. The sheets were once stitched together, but were presumably unbound for transfer to the metal plates which were then etched and engraved for printing (possibly by Cleveley himself). The drawings are numbered 1A, 2A etc. in pencil, but we have illustrated them here according to their numbering in the published state, which differs slightly. Cleveley’s views published in 1771 are numbered 1B, 2B etc., suggesting that two Sets were intended from the outset.

Cleveley was born and lived in Deptford until 1774. He was apprenticed to his father, a shipwright and notable marine painter, but did not complete his training. Instead he became a draughtsman and painter, as did his twin brother Robert (1747-1809). John was trained by Paul Sandby, who was drawing master at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich from 1768-1796. Sandby’s influence can clearly be seen in these early topographical works, in contrast with the marine subjects he exhibited at the Free Society from 1767 and the Royal Academy from 1770, for which he was best known.

The Group: £5000, or available individually at the prices below.