William Sanderson’s Criticism and Copying

Alexander Marr, University of Cambridge

William Sanderson’s Graphice, the use of the pen and pensil, or, the most excellent art of painting (1658) is one of the earliest treatises on the pictorial arts published in English. Used by several members of the Royal Society as they learnt to draw, Sanderson’s book leaned heavily on the works of earlier authors, including Francis Bacon, Edward Norgate and Henry Wotton. This paper will consider Sanderson’s art criticism in light of his own copying practices, both textual and visual. The latter have recently come to light in a hitherto unstudied copybook, which also provides tantalising glimpses of Sanderson’s natural historical and technological interests.

Nature studies copybook of William Sanderson © Queen's College, Oxford
Nature studies copybook of William Sanderson © Queen’s College, Oxford