Faustus Discovering the Art of Printing, by 1828
William Marshall Craig (before 1787 - 1827)
RA Collection: Art
A pen and ink illustration of a man seated at a table with a young assistant, printing the letters 'ABC' on piece of paper. According to Jupp the drawing depicts Faustus inventing printing. There was a long-held confusion between a man named Fust (Faustus in Latin), who financed Gutenberg's printing press, and the story of Dr Faustus, the academic who sold his soul to the Devil, which led to the belief that the latter had invented printing.
William Marshall Craig was a well-known miniature painter and became painter in watercolours to Queen Charlotte in 1812.
This work comes from one of sixteen volumes of Royal Academy Annual Exhibition catalogues that were collected and extra-illustrated by the lawyer and antiquarian Edward Basil Jupp F.S.A. (1812 - 1877). The catalogues span the period from the first annual exhibition in 1769 up to 1875. Jupp added drawings, prints, letters and autographs by, or referring to, Academicians and other exhibitors at the Academy's annual exhibition.
E.B. Jupp was a solicitor who married Eliza Kay, daughter of the architect William Porden Kay. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a clerk of the Carpenters' Company, of which he published a history. Jupp amassed a large collection of paintings by British and Dutch artists, drawings, prints, books and porcelain most of which was sold after his death, at Christie's in February 1878.
Many of the drawings in Jupp's Royal Academy extra-illustrated volumes were bought from art sales during the 1860s. He was also acquainted with a number of contemporary artists and several drawings in the later volumes (along with many of the letters and autographs) were sent from the artists themselves.
184 mm x 152 mm
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